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James A. Garfield: Impact and Legacy
Murdered within months of his inauguration, Garfield served as President too briefly for him to have left much of an impact. Still, his legacy is far more ambiguous than most people realize. His replacement of Merritt shows him not only lacking judgment but acting as a spoilsman himself. His secretary of state, James G. Blaine, conducted foreign policy in, at best, an offhand manner, adding to the burdens of his successor, Chester A. Arthur. Nevertheless, Garfield appeared to be increasingly dependent upon Blaine as his short-lived presidency emerged. Since Garfield was passionately devoted to hard money and a laissez-faire economy, it is doubtful whether he could have really coped with the recession that began in 1881. He might have advanced the cause of civil rights, but without again stationing federal troops in the South, his options were limited.
For his reputation, it might have been just as well that he died when he did. He died in the prime of his life, still politically untested. The times did not demand a President in the heroic mold, and Garfield could therefore be remembered as a martyr above all else, as one who truly gave his life for his nation.
Accomplishments in Office
Garfield's administration was cut short by his assassination on July 2. Before his assassination, Garfield's efforts were mostly devoted to resolving issues of political patronage. Garfield was assassinated by Charles Guiteau, a Garfield supporter who had been denied a political appointment. Garfield was gunned down in the waiting room of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad in Washington. He died of blood poisoning on September 17th, two months after he was shot.
The inept doctor who killed President Garfield
In 1881, after being shot by a would-be assassin, President James Garfield languished in the care of Dr. D.W. Bliss, a man with whom he had a long and friendly history.
No device existed that could locate a bullet within a human body, and doctors couldn’t remove a bullet without knowing where it was. So Alexander Graham Bell, the recent inventor of the telephone, created a device to do just that.
An engraving of James A. Garfield’s assassination, published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.
Working urgently, he came up with the induction balance, a coiled device that could detect metal in the human body. Testing it on Civil War soldiers with bullet fragments inside them, he verified the device worked as intended.
For all its successful tests, it only failed twice — the two times Bell tried to find the bullet inside the president.
He was baffled about why it failed until he learned that Bliss hadn’t followed his instructions to remove the box spring to the president’s bed, which contained metal coils that would interfere with the detector.
Bell sought a third attempt with the box spring removed, but Bliss made a public announcement about Bell’s failure, and declared the device ineffective.
Charles Guiteau, the man who shot Garfield on July 2, 1881, has gone down in history as Garfield’s assassin. But given that Garfield survived for months before succumbing to his injuries, inadequate medical care was the more direct cause of the president’s death.
In his new book, “Murdering The President: Alexander Graham Bell and The Race To Save James Garfield” (Potomac Books), journalist Fred Rosen makes the case that it was neither the bullet nor primitive medical practices of the time that killed Garfield, but the conscious, intentional negligence of one man — Dr. Bliss — who valued his own reputation and status over human life.
D.W. Bliss was a Union surgeon in the Civil War. After the Battle of Bull Run saw 2,000 Union soldiers, including his infantry, killed or wounded, it was alleged that he turned coward and ran, leaving wounded soldiers to die. After, rather than feeling guilt, he wrote to a relative, “A great battle fought. I am safe.”
When President Lincoln needed someone to help set up veterans’ hospitals, Bliss was recommended for the job. Lincoln, unaware of the Bull Run controversy, hired him. The president personally oversaw the building of a “jerry-rigged” local hospital called Armory Square, and appointed Bliss superintendent.
In April 1863, Bliss was arrested for taking a $500 bribe to use a certain inventor’s stove in the hospital. He was thrown in prison, but he had friends in high places. Sen. John Hale — whose daughter, Lucy, was engaged to actor John Wilkes Booth — agreed to represent him, and got the charges dropped.
When Booth shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in April 1865, an Armory surgeon named Charles Leale took charge, attempting to save the president. Recognizing his wounds as lethal, Leale summoned the president’s family and cabinet, as well as his personal doctor, Robert Stone, the surgeon general, Joseph Barnes, and Bliss.
“Leale assigned Barnes and Stone tasks to assist him in treating the president,” Rosen writes. “Despite the fact that Bliss was his boss, Leale gave him nothing to do. Bliss was forced to watch as history unfolded without him.”
But Bliss took credit as part of the team that tended to the president after the shooting, and his practice grew along with his unearned prestige.
“Everyone believed that Dr. D.W. Bliss had treated Abraham Lincoln,” writes Rosen. “For Bliss, it was a lesson well learned.”
Bliss used his newfound fame to promote and sell cundurango, a fake cancer cure, leading the Medical Association of the District of Columbia to charge him with “quackery.” But this, too, left the public memory in short order.
Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s eldest son, was President Garfield’s secretary of war. That is how, less than two decades after his father was the first president shot while in office, he became a witness for the second.
Just after Garfield was hit, someone yelled, “The president’s been shot!” Lincoln, with rare experience in such matters, took charge.
A wood engraving of President James A. Garfield on his deathbed with D.W. Bliss looking over him. The National Library of Medicine
First, he ordered the president moved to the White House. Then, remembering that his father had been attended to by a Dr. Bliss — and not knowing that Bliss had not been allowed to participate in his father’s care — he summoned the doctor to the White House.
As Bliss spoke to Lincoln, he mentioned his “friendship” with his father, and convinced the secretary to place him in charge.
“He had learned from Lincoln’s assassination,” writes Rosen. “No one was going to shut him out this time.”
When Garfield, who had met and befriended Bliss when both were in their 20s, was informed that Bliss would be in charge of his care, he was delighted, unaware of the doctor’s many transgressions.
In an era that had yet to embrace cleanliness as a weapon against disease, Bliss believed, “the dirtier, the better.”
When Garfield, who had met and befriended Bliss when both were in their 20s, was informed that Bliss would be in charge of his care, he was delighted, unaware of the doctor’s many transgressions.
“His dirty probe snaked its way through Garfield’s back, deep enough that it snagged on one of his ribs. Then he stuck his finger into the wound, pushing further and further. Bliss formed the opinion that the bullet was close to the president’s liver. No matter what, he would not deviate from that conclusion.”
The unsanitary conditions were standard for the time, as “sepsis prevention was not yet an accepted medical practice in the United States.” But “anesthesia administered while operating was,” yet Bliss subjected Garfield to his probing without giving him anything for pain.
In effect, he tortured the president for no reason, keeping him in “intense and unnecessary pain during the entire procedure.” Bliss then released a statement to the press stating the president “has returned to his normal condition,” which wasn’t true.
Garfield was deteriorating his vital signs were dropping, and he soon lost feeling in his feet.
Bliss was making his condition worse.
“Unknown to anyone else, except the doctors he kept by the wayside, Bliss kept exploring for the bullet, making the wound bigger and bigger as he did,” writes Rosen. “And always without anesthetic, keeping Garfield in pain.”
While Bliss “tried” to save the president, others took real measures. Given the oppressive July heat, the president’s secretary asked Simon Newcomb, a prominent scientist, if he could figure out a way to bring the president’s body temperature down.
“Newcomb and several naval engineers created a device that forced air over ice blocks, effectively lowering the room temperature by twenty degrees,” writes Rosen. “It was the world’s first air conditioner.”
While this lowered the president’s temperature, it did nothing to solve the problem of the bullet.
But Bell was following Garfield’s plight closely, and contemplating solutions.
Believing that “electricity and magnetism” might help, he invented the induction balance.
When he met with Bliss, their brief conversation left Bliss believing that “the person who wielded the invention was the one who would get credit for locating the bullet.” It also gave him the idea that if Bell could invent something, so could he.
“The president was having trouble eating,” writes Rosen. ”Bliss would invent another way of him taking food, besides through his mouth.”
Bell instructed Bliss in advance to “move the president to a bed without metal box springs,” so they could search for the bullet without other metal confusing the signals.
When Bell arrived, Bliss insisted he be the one to hold the coil. Bell was surprised, but relented. But as Bliss “moved the coil from the wound down the back, beside the spine, and near the liver,” they heard nothing.
Bell was perplexed. The coil had worked every single time in the tests, yet was now ineffective. Bliss proclaimed the experiment over, and Bell thought he had failed.
The inventor rechecked the device and made some tweaks. Testing it on soldiers again and finding it operable, he contacted Bliss for a second attempt. Not wanting blame for failing to do everything possible to save the president, Bliss agreed, but this effort failed as well.
Bell was beside himself, “certain it had to be some outside source at the White House that caused his experiment to go awry.” He returned to the Executive Mansion the next day, pressing the other doctors on whether some metal might have remained near the president, and only then learning that Bliss had ignored his instructions about removing the box spring.
But Bliss, having given Bell two attempts, saw no need to grant a third. He told the press of Bell’s failure, and newspapers “excoriated Bell as a charlatan. No one knew what Bliss had done to sabotage both of Bell’s attempts to use the induction balance on the president.” Bell’s life-saving induction balance was dead.
Now, Bliss would show the world that he, too, had an inventive mind.
The autopsy showed that Bell’s invention didn’t work because it had not been placed anywhere near the bullet.
“Since the president had a poor appetite and needed his nourishment, Bliss had an idea,” Rosen writes. “He would pump food up the president’s anus.”
It had been proven several decades earlier that “food was digested in the stomach and no other place in the human body.”
“So when D.W. Bliss proposed to feed the president through the rectum,” writes Rosen, “he had to know it wouldn’t work. What it was, was torture.”
Bliss pumped specially treated blood as well as beef extract into the president’s intestines through his rectum. Garfield winced through the pain. He neither complained nor improved.
The doctor also operated on Garfield again to hopefully remove the bullet, without knowledge of the bullet’s location. He found nothing. After this, Garfield began a rapid decline, as “blood poisoning ravaged his body.”
On Sept. 9, 1881, Bliss told Garfield that he was “getting out of the woods.” Garfield died 10 days later.
Bliss conducted the autopsy with two other doctors. They cited “blood poisoning from the bullet wound” as the cause of death, but, Rosen writes, “the details of the coroner’s autopsy report did not back up their conclusions.”
“The autopsy showed that Bliss had created a false wound track with his painful probing,” Rosen writes. “He had taken a three-inch entry wound and, in probing for the bullet, made a pus-infected wound track, twenty-one inches long. Worse, it was a false wound track, leading away from the bullet.” A modern analysis of the report proved, writes Rosen, that Bliss’ probing also “punctured Garfield’s bladder.”
The autopsy showed that Bell’s invention didn’t work because it had not been placed anywhere near the bullet. Bliss was so convinced that the bullet was near the liver, it’s the only place he put the coil. The bullet had been stuck on the other side of Garfield’s body.
After Garfield’s death, Bliss sent a bill for his services to Congress, and they agreed to pay just a fraction. The fight over payment was ugly and public, and Bliss lost. He continued practicing medicine until his death in 1889 at age 64.
On Sept. 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. (Amazingly, Robert Todd Lincoln was there, having accepted a presidential invitation to the event. After, he resolved to accept no more presidential invitations, and didn’t for over two decades.)
The X-ray machine had been invented five years earlier, but was still a scarce object. The nearest one was at the exposition, but the president’s doctors, caring for him at a nearby private home, considered it too risky to move him.
“The only portable machine on the planet capable of detecting the bullet,” writes Rosen, “was the induction balance.”
But Bliss had discredited the balance, which “would eventually be an exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute.” Therefore, doctors operated on the president with no idea where the bullet was.
“Eight days after he was shot, William McKinley died from gangrene,” Rosen writes. “He was buried with the death bullet still inside him his surgeons never located it.”
The U.S. President has not always had people protecting him. In the country's early years, many people believed the young democratic republic was immune to political violence. Dictators and heirs of succession had been assassinated for decades in other nations, including six successful assassinations out of more than 14 attempts since the 1860s in Europe and South America, but Americans believed their nation to be free of the corruptions of the Old World. After all, America was a democratic republic where people could vent dissatisfaction through their vote, rather than resorting to political violence. The White House was even relatively open only one policeman and a secretary stood between the president and Pennsylvania Avenue.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln's murder, though shocking and horrific, was thought by many to be a fluke -- a final tragic chapter to the Civil War, a singular event in American history that surely would not be repeated.
On July 2, 1881, while walking through the Baltimore and Potomac train station, President James Garfield had no police detail or personal bodyguards, just the company of two of his sons and his Secretary of State James Blaine, when he was shot twice by Charles Guiteau. Garfield survived for the following 79 days, and with no clear instruction given in the United States Constitution and no precedent dictating when a president might be deemed incapable of carrying out his duties, the United States was effectively left without an acting president. Vice President Arthur refused to take office while Garfield was alive, even two months into Garfield's convalescence. When Garfield died on the evening of September 19, Secretary of State Blaine and the cabinet members present sent a formal telegram to Vice President Arthur asking him to be sworn in as president with all haste. Four hours after the death of Garfield, the nation finally had a new president. It was not until 1967 and the ratification of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution that a formal process was outlined for presidential succession in case of presidential disability.
Illustration of Garfield after shooting. Credit: Library of Congress
Birth and family Edit
Chester Alan Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont. [b]  Arthur's mother, Malvina Stone was born in Berkshire, Vermont, the daughter of George Washington Stone and Judith Stevens.  Her family was primarily of English and Welsh descent, and her paternal grandfather, Uriah Stone, had served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. 
Arthur's father, William Arthur, was born in 1796 in Dreen, Cullybackey, County Antrim, Ireland to a Presbyterian family of Scots-Irish descent. William's mother was born Eliza McHarg and she married Alan Arthur.  William graduated from college in Belfast and immigrated to the Province of Lower Canada in 1819 or 1820.  Malvina Stone met William Arthur when Arthur was teaching school in Dunham, Quebec, near the Vermont border.  They married in Dunham on April 12, 1821, soon after meeting. 
The Arthurs moved to Vermont after the birth of their first child, Regina.  They quickly moved from Burlington to Jericho, and finally to Waterville, as William received positions teaching at different schools.  William Arthur also spent a brief time studying law, but while still in Waterville, he departed from both his legal studies and his Presbyterian upbringing to join the Free Will Baptists he spent the rest of his life as a minister in that sect.  William Arthur became an outspoken abolitionist, which often made him unpopular with some members of his congregations and contributed to the family's frequent moves. 
In 1828, the family moved again, to Fairfield, where Chester Alan Arthur was born the following year he was the fifth of nine children.   He was named "Chester" after Chester Abell,  the physician and family friend who assisted in his birth, and "Alan" for his paternal grandfather.  [c] The family remained in Fairfield until 1832, when William Arthur's profession took them to churches in several towns in Vermont and upstate New York. The family finally settled in the Schenectady, New York area. 
Arthur had seven siblings who lived to adulthood: 
- Regina (1822–1910), the wife of William G. Caw, a grocer, banker, and community leader of Cohoes, New York who served as town supervisor and village trustee 
- Jane (1824–1842) 
- Almeda (1825–1899), the wife of James H. Masten who served as postmaster of Cohoes and publisher of the Cohoes Cataract newspaper 
- Ann (1828–1915), a career educator who taught school in New York and worked in South Carolina in the years immediately before and after the Civil War. 
- Malvina (1832–1920), the wife of Henry J. Haynesworth who was an official of the Confederate government and a merchant in Albany, New York before being appointed as a captain and assistant quartermaster in the U.S. Army during Arthur's presidency 
- William (1834–1915), a medical school graduate who became a career Army officer and paymaster, he was wounded during his Civil War service. William Arthur retired in 1898 with the brevet rank of lieutenant colonel, and permanent rank of major. 
- George (1836–1838)  (1841–1917), the wife of John E. McElroy, an Albany businessman and insurance executive, and Arthur's official White House hostess during his presidency 
The family's frequent moves later spawned accusations that Arthur was not a natural-born citizen of the United States. When Arthur was nominated for vice president in 1880, a New York attorney and political opponent, Arthur P. Hinman, initially speculated that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old. Had that been true, opponents might have argued that Arthur was ineligible for the vice presidency under the United States Constitution's natural-born-citizen clause.  [d]  [e]  When Hinman's original story did not take root, he spread a new rumor that Arthur was born in Canada. This claim, too, failed to gain credence.  [f] 
Arthur spent some of his childhood years living in the New York towns of York, Perry, Greenwich, Lansingburgh, Schenectady, and Hoosick.  One of his first teachers said Arthur was a boy "frank and open in manners and genial in disposition."  During his time at school, he gained his first political inclinations and supported the Whig Party. He joined other young Whigs in support of Henry Clay, even participating in a brawl against students who supported James K. Polk.  Arthur also supported the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish republican organization founded in America he showed this support by wearing a green coat.  After completing his college preparation at the Lyceum of Union Village (now Greenwich) and a grammar school in Schenectady, Arthur enrolled at Schenectady's Union College in 1845, where he studied the traditional classical curriculum.  As a senior, he was president of the debate society and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  During his winter breaks, Arthur served as a teacher at a school in Schaghticoke. 
After graduating in 1848, Arthur returned to Schaghticoke and became a full-time teacher, and soon began to pursue an education in law.  While studying law, he continued teaching, moving closer to home by taking a job at a school in North Pownal, Vermont.  Coincidentally, future president James A. Garfield taught penmanship at the same school three years later, but the two did not cross paths during their teaching careers.  In 1852, Arthur moved again, to Cohoes, New York, to become the principal of a school at which his sister, Malvina, was a teacher.  In 1853, after studying at State and National Law School in Ballston Spa, New York, and then saving enough money to relocate, Arthur moved to New York City to read law at the office of Erastus D. Culver, an abolitionist lawyer and family friend.  When Arthur was admitted to the New York bar in 1854, he joined Culver's firm, which was subsequently renamed Culver, Parker, and Arthur. 
New York lawyer Edit
When Arthur joined the firm, Culver and New York attorney John Jay (the grandson of the Founding Father John Jay) were pursuing a habeas corpus action against Jonathan Lemmon, a Virginia slaveholder who was passing through New York with his eight slaves.  In Lemmon v. New York, Culver argued that, as New York law did not permit slavery, any slave arriving in New York was automatically freed.  The argument was successful, and after several appeals was upheld by the New York Court of Appeals in 1860.  Campaign biographers would later give Arthur much of the credit for the victory in fact his role was minor, although he was certainly an active participant in the case.  In another civil rights case in 1854, Arthur was the lead attorney representing Elizabeth Jennings Graham after she was denied a seat on a streetcar because she was black.  He won the case, and the verdict led to the desegregation of the New York City streetcar lines. 
In 1856, Arthur courted Ellen Herndon, the daughter of William Lewis Herndon, a Virginia naval officer.  The two were soon engaged to be married.  Later that year, he started a new law partnership with a friend, Henry D. Gardiner, and traveled with him to Kansas to consider purchasing land and setting up a law practice there.  At that time, the state was the scene of a brutal struggle between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, and Arthur lined up firmly with the latter.  The rough frontier life did not agree with the genteel New Yorkers after three or four months the two young lawyers returned to New York City, where Arthur comforted his fiancée after her father was lost at sea in the wreck of the SS Central America.  In 1859, they were married at Calvary Episcopal Church in Manhattan.  The couple had three children:
- William Lewis Arthur (December 10, 1860 – July 7, 1863), died of "convulsions" (July 25, 1864 – July 18, 1937), married Myra Townsend, then Rowena Graves, father of Gavin Arthur
- Ellen Hansbrough Herndon "Nell" Arthur Pinkerton (November 21, 1871 – September 6, 1915), married Charles Pinkerton
After his marriage, Arthur devoted his efforts to building his law practice, but also found time to engage in Republican party politics. In addition, he indulged his military interest by becoming Judge Advocate General for the Second Brigade of the New York Militia. 
Civil War Edit
In 1861, Arthur was appointed to the military staff of Governor Edwin D. Morgan as engineer-in-chief.  The office was a patronage appointment of minor importance until the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, when New York and the other northern states were faced with raising and equipping armies of a size never before seen in American history.  Arthur was commissioned as a brigadier general and assigned to the state militia's quartermaster department.  He was so efficient at housing and outfitting the troops that poured into New York City that he was promoted to inspector general of the state militia in March 1862, and then to quartermaster general that July.  He had an opportunity to serve at the front when the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment elected him commander with the rank of colonel early in the war, but at Governor Morgan's request, he turned it down to remain at his post in New York.  He also turned down command of four New York City regiments organized as the Metropolitan Brigade, again at Morgan's request.  The closest Arthur came to the front was when he traveled south to inspect New York troops near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in May 1862, shortly after forces under Major General Irvin McDowell seized the town during the Peninsula Campaign.  That summer, he and other representatives of northern governors met with Secretary of State William H. Seward in New York to coordinate the raising of additional troops, and spent the next few months enlisting New York's quota of 120,000 men.  Arthur received plaudits for his work, but his post was a political appointment, and he was relieved of his militia duties in January 1863 when Governor Horatio Seymour, a Democrat, took office.  When Reuben Fenton won the 1864 election for governor, Arthur requested reappointment Fenton and Arthur were from different factions of the Republican Party, and Fenton had already committed to appointing another candidate, so Arthur did not return to military service. 
Arthur returned to being a lawyer, and with the help of additional contacts made in the military, he and the firm of Arthur & Gardiner flourished.  Even as his professional life improved, however, Arthur and his wife experienced a personal tragedy as their only child, William, died suddenly that year at the age of two.  The couple took their son's death hard, and when they had another son, Chester Alan Jr., in 1864, they lavished attention on him.  They also had a daughter, Ellen, in 1871. Both children survived to adulthood. 
Arthur's political prospects improved along with his law practice when his patron, ex-Governor Morgan, was elected to the United States Senate.  He was hired by Thomas Murphy, a Republican politician, but also a friend of William M. Tweed, the boss of the Tammany Hall Democratic organization. Murphy was also a hatter who sold goods to the Union Army, and Arthur represented him in Washington. The two became associates within New York Republican party circles, eventually rising in the ranks of the conservative branch of the party dominated by Thurlow Weed.  In the presidential election of 1864, Arthur and Murphy raised funds from Republicans in New York, and they attended the second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. 
Conkling's machine Edit
The end of the Civil War meant new opportunities for the men in Morgan's Republican machine, including Arthur.  Morgan leaned toward the conservative wing of the New York Republican party, as did the men who worked with him in the organization, including Weed, Seward (who continued in office under President Andrew Johnson), and Roscoe Conkling (an eloquent Utica Congressman and rising star in the party).  Arthur rarely articulated his own political ideas during his time as a part of the machine as was common at the time, loyalty and hard work on the machine's behalf was more important than actual political positions. 
At the time, U.S. custom houses were managed by political appointees who served as Collector, Naval Officer, and Surveyor. In 1866, Arthur unsuccessfully attempted to secure the position of Naval Officer at the New York Custom House, a lucrative job subordinate only to the Collector.  He continued his law practice (now a solo practice after Gardiner's death) and his role in politics, becoming a member of the prestigious Century Club in 1867.  Conkling, elected to the United States Senate in 1867, noticed Arthur and facilitated his rise in the party, and Arthur became chairman of the New York City Republican executive committee in 1868.  His ascent in the party hierarchy kept him busy most nights, and his wife resented his continual absence from the family home on party business. 
Conkling succeeded to leadership of the conservative wing of New York's Republicans by 1868 as Morgan concentrated more time and effort on national politics, including serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee. The Conkling machine was solidly behind General Ulysses S. Grant's candidacy for president, and Arthur raised funds for Grant's election in 1868.  The opposing Democratic machine in New York City, known as Tammany Hall, worked for Grant's opponent, former New York Governor Horatio Seymour while Grant was victorious in the national vote, Seymour narrowly carried the state of New York.  Arthur began to devote more of his time to politics and less to law, and in 1869 he became counsel to the New York City Tax Commission, appointed when Republicans controlled the state legislature. He remained at the job until 1870 at a salary of $10,000 a year.  [g] Arthur resigned after Democrats controlled by William M. Tweed of Tammany Hall won a legislative majority, which meant they could name their own appointee.  In 1871, Grant offered to name Arthur as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, replacing Alfred Pleasonton Arthur declined the appointment. 
In 1870, President Grant gave Conkling control over New York patronage, including the Custom House at the Port of New York. Having become friendly with Murphy over their shared love of horses during summer vacations on the Jersey Shore, in July of that year, Grant appointed him to the Collector's position.  Murphy's reputation as a war profiteer and his association with Tammany Hall made him unacceptable to many of his own party, but Conkling convinced the Senate to confirm him.  The Collector was responsible for hiring hundreds of workers to collect the tariffs due at the United States' busiest port. Typically, these jobs were dispensed to adherents of the political machine responsible for appointing the Collector. Employees were required to make political contributions (known as "assessments") back to the machine, which made the job a highly coveted political plum.  Murphy's unpopularity only increased as he replaced workers loyal to Senator Reuben Fenton's faction of the Republican party with those loyal to Conkling's.  Eventually, the pressure to replace Murphy grew too great, and Grant asked for his resignation in December 1871.  Grant offered the position to John Augustus Griswold and William Orton, each of whom declined and recommended Arthur.  Grant then nominated Arthur, with the New York Times commenting, "his name very seldom rises to the surface of metropolitan life and yet moving like a mighty undercurrent this man during the last 10 years has done more to mold the course of the Republican Party in this state than any other one man in the country." 
The Senate confirmed Arthur's appointment as Collector he controlled nearly a thousand jobs and received compensation as great as any federal officeholder.  Arthur's salary was initially $6,500, but senior customs employees were compensated additionally by the "moiety" system, which awarded them a percentage of the cargoes seized and fines levied on importers who attempted to evade the tariff.  In total, his income came to more than $50,000—more than the president's salary, and more than enough for him to enjoy fashionable clothes and a lavish lifestyle.  [h] Among those who dealt with the Custom House, Arthur was one of the era's more popular collectors.  He got along with his subordinates and, since Murphy had already filled the staff with Conkling's adherents, he had few occasions to fire anyone.  He was also popular within the Republican party as he efficiently collected campaign assessments from the staff and placed party leaders' friends in jobs as positions became available.  Arthur had a better reputation than Murphy, but reformers still criticized the patronage structure and the moiety system as corrupt.  A rising tide of reform within the party caused Arthur to rename the financial extractions from employees as "voluntary contributions" in 1872, but the concept remained, and the party reaped the benefit of controlling government jobs.  In that year, reform-minded Republicans formed the Liberal Republican party and voted against Grant, but he was re-elected in spite of their opposition.  Nevertheless, the movement for civil service reform continued to chip away at Conkling's patronage machine in 1874 Custom House employees were found to have improperly assessed fines against an importing company as a way to increase their own incomes, and Congress reacted, repealing the moiety system and putting the staff, including Arthur, on regular salaries.  As a result, his income dropped to $12,000 a year—more than his nominal boss, the Secretary of the Treasury, but far less than what he had previously received. 
Clash with Hayes Edit
Arthur's four-year term as Collector expired on December 10, 1875, and Conkling, then among the most powerful politicians in Washington, arranged his protégé's reappointment by President Grant.  By 1876, Conkling was considering a run for the presidency himself, but the selection of reformer Rutherford B. Hayes by the 1876 Republican National Convention preempted the machine boss.  Arthur and the machine gathered campaign funds with their usual zeal, but Conkling limited his own campaign activities to a few speeches.  Hayes's opponent, New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden, carried New York and won the popular vote nationwide, but after the resolution of several months of disputes over twenty electoral votes (from the states of Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, and South Carolina), he lost the presidency. 
Hayes entered office with a pledge to reform the patronage system in 1877, he and Treasury Secretary John Sherman made Conkling's machine the primary target.  Sherman ordered a commission led by John Jay to investigate the New York Custom House.  Jay, with whom Arthur had collaborated in the Lemmon case two decades earlier, suggested that the Custom House was overstaffed with political appointments, and that 20% of the employees were expendable.  Sherman was less enthusiastic about the reforms than Hayes and Jay, but he approved the commission's report and ordered Arthur to make the personnel reductions.  Arthur appointed a committee of Custom House workers to determine where the cuts were to be made and, after a written protest, carried them out.  Notwithstanding his cooperation, the Jay Commission issued a second report critical of Arthur and other Custom House employees, and subsequent reports urging a complete reorganization. 
Hayes further struck at the heart of the spoils system by issuing an executive order that forbade assessments, and barred federal office holders from ". tak[ing] part in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns."  Arthur and his subordinates, Naval Officer Alonzo B. Cornell and Surveyor George H. Sharpe, refused to obey the president's order Sherman encouraged Arthur to resign, offering him appointment by Hayes to the consulship in Paris in exchange, but Arthur refused.  In September 1877, Hayes demanded the three men's resignations, which they refused to give.  Hayes then submitted the appointment of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., L. Bradford Prince, and Edwin Merritt (all supporters of Conkling's rival William M. Evarts) to the Senate for confirmation as their replacements.  The Senate's Commerce Committee, chaired by Conkling, unanimously rejected all the nominees the full Senate rejected Roosevelt and Prince by a vote of 31–25, and confirmed Merritt only because Sharpe's term had expired. 
Arthur's job was spared only until July 1878, when Hayes took advantage of a Congressional recess to fire him and Cornell, replacing them with the recess appointment of Merritt and Silas W. Burt.  [i] Hayes again offered Arthur the position of consul general in Paris as a face-saving consolation Arthur again declined, as Hayes knew he probably would.  Conkling opposed the confirmation of Merritt and Burt when the Senate reconvened in February 1879, but Merritt was approved by a vote of 31–25, as was Burt by 31–19, giving Hayes his most significant civil service reform victory.  Arthur immediately took advantage of the resulting free time to work for the election of Edward Cooper as New York City's next mayor.  In September 1879 Arthur became Chairman of the New York State Republican Executive Committee, a post in which he served until October 1881.   In the state elections of 1879, he and Conkling worked to ensure that the Republican nominees for state offices would be men of Conkling's faction, who had become known as Stalwarts.  They were successful, but narrowly, as Cornell was nominated for governor by a vote of 234–216.  Arthur and Conkling campaigned vigorously for the Stalwart ticket and, owing partly to a splintering of the Democratic vote, were victorious.  Arthur and the machine had rebuked Hayes and their intra-party rivals, but Arthur had only a few days to enjoy his triumph when, on January 12, 1880, his wife died suddenly while he was in Albany organizing the political agenda for the coming year.  Arthur felt devastated, and perhaps guilty, and never remarried. 
Conkling and his fellow Stalwarts, including Arthur, wished to follow up their 1879 success at the 1880 Republican National Convention by securing the nomination for their ally, ex-President Grant.  Their opponents in the Republican party, known as Half-Breeds, concentrated their efforts on James G. Blaine, a Senator from Maine who was more amenable to civil service reform.  Neither candidate commanded a majority of delegates and, deadlocked after thirty-six ballots, the convention turned to a dark horse, James A. Garfield, an Ohio Congressman and Civil War general who was neither Stalwart nor Half-Breed. 
Garfield and his supporters knew they would face a difficult election without the support of the New York Stalwarts and decided to offer one of them the vice presidential nomination.  Levi P. Morton, the first choice of Garfield's supporters, consulted with Conkling, who advised him to decline, which he did.  They next approached Arthur, and Conkling advised him to also reject the nomination, believing the Republicans would lose.  Arthur thought otherwise and accepted. According to a purported eyewitness account by journalist William C. Hudson, Conkling and Arthur argued, with Arthur telling Conkling, "The office of the Vice-President is a greater honor than I ever dreamed of attaining."  [j] Conkling eventually relented, and campaigned for the ticket. 
As expected, the election was close. The Democratic nominee, General Winfield Scott Hancock was popular and having avoided taking definitive positions on most issues of the day, he had not offended any pivotal constituencies.  As Republicans had done since the end of the Civil War, Garfield and Arthur initially focused their campaign on the "bloody shirt"—the idea that returning Democrats to office would undo the victory of the Civil War and reward secessionists. 
With the war fifteen years in the past and Union generals at the head of both tickets, the tactic was less effective than the Republicans hoped.  Realizing this, they adjusted their approach to claim that Democrats would lower the country's protective tariff, which would allow cheaper manufactured goods to be imported from Europe, and thereby put thousands out of work.  This argument struck home in the swing states of New York and Indiana, where many were employed in manufacturing.  Hancock did not help his own cause when, in an attempt to remain neutral on the tariff, he said that "[t]he tariff question is a local question", which only made him appear uninformed about an important issue.  Candidates for high office did not personally campaign in those days, but as state Republican chairman, Arthur played a part in the campaign in his usual fashion: overseeing the effort in New York and raising money.  The funds were crucial in the close election, and winning his home state of New York was critical.  The Republicans carried New York by 20,000 votes and, in an election with the largest turnout of qualified voters ever recorded—78.4%—they won the nationwide popular vote by just 7,018 votes.  The Electoral College result was more decisive—214 to 155—and Garfield and Arthur were elected. 
After the election, Arthur worked in vain to persuade Garfield to fill certain positions with his fellow New York Stalwarts—especially that of the Secretary of the Treasury the Stalwart machine received a further rebuke when Garfield appointed Blaine, Conkling's arch-enemy, as Secretary of State.  The running mates, never close, detached as Garfield continued to freeze out the Stalwarts from his patronage. Arthur's status in the administration diminished when, a month before inauguration day, he gave a speech before reporters suggesting the election in Indiana, a swing state, had been won by Republicans through illegal machinations.  Garfield ultimately appointed a Stalwart, Thomas Lemuel James, to be Postmaster General, but the cabinet fight and Arthur's ill-considered speech left the President and Vice President clearly estranged when they took office on March 4, 1881. 
The Senate in the 47th United States Congress was divided among 37 Republicans, 37 Democrats, one independent (David Davis) who caucused with the Democrats, one Readjuster (William Mahone), and four vacancies.  Immediately, the Democrats attempted to organize the Senate, knowing that the vacancies would soon be filled by Republicans.  As vice president, Arthur cast tie-breaking votes in favor of the Republicans when Mahone opted to join their caucus.  Even so, the Senate remained deadlocked for two months over Garfield's nominations because of Conkling's opposition to some of them.  Just before going into recess in May 1881, the situation became more complicated when Conkling and the other Senator from New York, Thomas C. Platt, resigned in protest of Garfield's continuing opposition to their faction. 
With the Senate in recess, Arthur had no duties in Washington and returned to New York City.  Once there, he traveled with Conkling to Albany, where the former Senator hoped for a quick re-election to the Senate, and with it, a defeat for the Garfield administration.  [k] The Republican majority in the state legislature was divided on the question, to Conkling and Platt's surprise, and an intense campaign in the statehouse ensued.  [l]
While in Albany on July 2, Arthur learned that Garfield had been shot.  The assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, was a deranged office-seeker who believed that Garfield's successor would appoint him to a patronage job. He proclaimed to onlookers: "I am a Stalwart, and Arthur will be President!"  Guiteau was found to be mentally unstable, and despite his claims to be a Stalwart supporter of Arthur, they had only a tenuous connection that dated from the 1880 campaign.  Twenty-nine days before his execution for shooting Garfield, Guiteau composed a lengthy, unpublished poem claiming that Arthur knew the assassination had saved "our land [the United States]". Guiteau's poem also states he had (incorrectly) presumed that Arthur would pardon him for the assassination. 
More troubling was the lack of legal guidance on presidential succession: as Garfield lingered near death, no one was sure who, if anyone, could exercise presidential authority.  Also, after Conkling's resignation, the Senate had adjourned without electing a president pro tempore, who would normally follow Arthur in the succession.  Arthur was reluctant to be seen acting as president while Garfield lived, and for the next two months there was a void of authority in the executive office, with Garfield too weak to carry out his duties, and Arthur reluctant to assume them.  Through the summer, Arthur refused to travel to Washington and was at his home on Lexington Avenue in New York City when, on the night of September 19, he learned that Garfield had died in Long Branch, New Jersey.  Judge John R. Brady of the New York Supreme Court administered the oath of office in Arthur's home at 2:15 a.m. on September 20. Later that day Arthur took a train to Long Branch to pay his respects to Garfield and to leave a card of sympathy for Mrs. Garfield, afterwards returning to New York. On September 21, he returned to Long Branch to take part in Garfield's funeral, and then joined the funeral train to Washington.  Before leaving New York, Arthur ensured the presidential line of succession by preparing and mailing to the White House a proclamation calling for a Senate special session. This step ensured that the Senate had legal authority to convene immediately and choose a Senate president pro tempore, who would be able to assume the presidency if Arthur died. Once in Washington he destroyed the mailed proclamation and issued a formal call for a special session. 
Taking office Edit
Arthur arrived in Washington, D.C. on September 21.  On September 22, he re-took the oath of office, this time before Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite. Arthur took this step to ensure procedural compliance there had been a lingering question about whether a state court judge (Brady) could administer a federal oath of office.  [m] He initially took up residence at the home of Senator John P. Jones, while a White House remodeling he had ordered was carried out, including addition of an elaborate fifty-foot glass screen by Louis Comfort Tiffany. 
Arthur's sister, Mary Arthur McElroy, served as White House hostess for her widowed brother  Arthur became Washington's most eligible bachelor and his social life became the subject of rumors, though romantically, he remained singularly devoted to the memory of his late wife.  His son, Chester Jr., was then a freshman at Princeton University and his daughter, Nell, stayed in New York with a governess until 1882 when she arrived, Arthur shielded her from the intrusive press as much as he could. 
Arthur quickly came into conflict with Garfield's cabinet, most of whom represented his opposition within the party. He asked the cabinet members to remain until December, when Congress would reconvene, but Treasury Secretary William Windom submitted his resignation in October to enter a Senate race in his home state of Minnesota.  Arthur then selected Charles J. Folger, his friend and fellow New York Stalwart as Windom's replacement.  [n] Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh was next to resign, believing that, as a reformer, he had no place in an Arthur cabinet.  Despite Arthur's personal appeal to remain, MacVeagh resigned in December 1881 and Arthur replaced him with Benjamin H. Brewster, a Philadelphia lawyer and machine politician reputed to have reformist leanings.  Blaine, nemesis of the Stalwart faction, remained Secretary of State until Congress reconvened and then departed immediately.  Conkling expected Arthur to appoint him in Blaine's place, but the President chose Frederick T. Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, a Stalwart recommended by ex-President Grant.  Frelinghuysen advised Arthur not to fill any future vacancies with Stalwarts, but when Postmaster General James resigned in January 1882, Arthur selected Timothy O. Howe, a Wisconsin Stalwart.  Navy Secretary William H. Hunt was next to resign, in April 1882, and Arthur attempted a more balanced approach by appointing Half-Breed William E. Chandler to the post, on Blaine's recommendation.  Finally, when Interior Secretary Samuel J. Kirkwood resigned that same month, Arthur appointed Henry M. Teller, a Colorado Stalwart to the office.  Of the Cabinet members Arthur had inherited from Garfield, only Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln remained for the entirety of Arthur's term. 
Civil service reform Edit
In the 1870s, a scandal was exposed, in which contractors for star postal routes were greatly overpaid for their services with the connivance of government officials (including Second Assistant Postmaster General Thomas J. Brady and former Senator Stephen Wallace Dorsey).  Reformers feared Arthur, as a former supporter of the spoils system, would not commit to continuing the investigation into the scandal.  But Arthur's Attorney General, Brewster, did in fact continue the investigations begun by MacVeagh, and hired notable Democratic lawyers William W. Ker and Richard T. Merrick to strengthen the prosecution team and forestall the skeptics.  Although Arthur had worked closely with Dorsey before his presidency, once in office he supported the investigation and forced the resignation of officials suspected in the scandal.  An 1882 trial of the ringleaders resulted in convictions for two minor conspirators and a hung jury for the rest.  After a juror came forward with allegations that the defendants attempted to bribe him, the judge set aside the guilty verdicts and granted a new trial.  Before the second trial began, Arthur removed five federal office holders who were sympathetic with the defense, including a former senator.  The second trial began in December 1882 and lasted until July 1883 and, again, did not result in a guilty verdict.  Failure to obtain a conviction tarnished the administration's image, but Arthur did succeed in putting a stop to the fraud. 
Garfield's assassination by a deranged office seeker amplified the public demand for civil service reform.  Both Democratic and Republican leaders realized that they could attract the votes of reformers by turning against the spoils system and, by 1882, a bipartisan effort began in favor of reform.  In 1880, Democratic Senator George H. Pendleton of Ohio introduced legislation that required selection of civil servants based on merit as determined by an examination.  This legislation greatly expanded similar civil service reforms attempted by President Franklin Pierce 30 years earlier. In his first annual presidential address to Congress in 1881, Arthur requested civil service reform legislation and Pendleton again introduced his bill, but Congress did not pass it.  Republicans lost seats in the 1882 congressional elections, in which Democrats campaigned on the reform issue.  As a result, the lame-duck session of Congress was more amenable to civil service reform the Senate approved Pendleton's bill 38–5 and the House soon concurred by a vote of 155–47.  Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act into law on January 16, 1883.  In just two years' time, an unrepentant Stalwart had become the president who ushered in long-awaited civil service reform. 
At first, the act applied only to 10% of federal jobs and, without proper implementation by the president, it could have gone no further.  Even after he signed the act into law, its proponents doubted Arthur's commitment to reform.  To their surprise, he acted quickly to appoint the members of the Civil Service Commission that the law created, naming reformers Dorman Bridgman Eaton, John Milton Gregory, and Leroy D. Thoman as commissioners.  The chief examiner, Silas W. Burt, was a long-time reformer who had been Arthur's opponent when the two men worked at the New York Custom House.  The commission issued its first rules in May 1883 by 1884, half of all postal officials and three-quarters of the Customs Service jobs were to be awarded by merit.  That year, Arthur expressed satisfaction with the new system, praising its effectiveness "in securing competent and faithful public servants and in protecting the appointing officers of the Government from the pressure of personal importunity and from the labor of examining the claims and pretensions of rival candidates for public employment." 
Surplus and the tariff Edit
With high revenue held over from wartime taxes, the federal government had collected more than it spent since 1866 by 1882 the surplus reached $145 million.  Opinions varied on how to balance the budget the Democrats wished to lower tariffs, in order to reduce revenues and the cost of imported goods, while Republicans believed that high tariffs ensured high wages in manufacturing and mining. They preferred the government spend more on internal improvements and reduce excise taxes.  Arthur agreed with his party, and in 1882 called for the abolition of excise taxes on everything except liquor, as well as a simplification of the complex tariff structure.  In May of that year, Representative William D. Kelley of Pennsylvania introduced a bill to establish a tariff commission  the bill passed and Arthur signed it into law but appointed mostly protectionists to the committee. Republicans were pleased with the committee's make-up but were surprised when, in December 1882, they submitted a report to Congress calling for tariff cuts averaging between 20 and 25%. The commission's recommendations were ignored, however, as the House Ways and Means Committee, dominated by protectionists, provided a 10% reduction.  After conference with the Senate, the bill that emerged only reduced tariffs by an average of 1.47%. The bill passed both houses narrowly on March 3, 1883, the last full day of the 47th Congress Arthur signed the measure into law, with no effect on the surplus. 
Congress attempted to balance the budget from the other side of the ledger, with increased spending on the 1882 Rivers and Harbors Act in the unprecedented amount of $19 million.  While Arthur was not opposed to internal improvements, the scale of the bill disturbed him, as did its narrow focus on "particular localities," rather than projects that benefited a larger part of the nation.  On August 1, 1882, Arthur vetoed the bill to widespread popular acclaim  in his veto message, his principal objection was that it appropriated funds for purposes "not for the common defense or general welfare, and which do not promote commerce among the States."  Congress overrode his veto the next day  and the new law reduced the surplus by $19 million.  Republicans considered the law a success at the time, but later concluded that it contributed to their loss of seats in the elections of 1882. 
Foreign affairs and immigration Edit
During the Garfield administration, Secretary of State James G. Blaine attempted to invigorate United States diplomacy in Latin America, urging reciprocal trade agreements and offering to mediate disputes among the Latin American nations.  Blaine, venturing a greater involvement in affairs south of the Rio Grande, proposed a Pan-American conference in 1882 to discuss trade and an end to the War of the Pacific being fought by Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.  Blaine did not remain in office long enough to see the effort through, and when Frederick T. Frelinghuysen replaced him at the end of 1881, the conference efforts lapsed.  Frelinghuysen also discontinued Blaine's peace efforts in the War of the Pacific, fearing that the United States might be drawn into the conflict.  Arthur and Frelinghuysen continued Blaine's efforts to encourage trade among the nations of the Western Hemisphere a treaty with Mexico providing for reciprocal tariff reductions was signed in 1882 and approved by the Senate in 1884.  Legislation required to bring the treaty into force failed in the House, however, rendering it a dead letter.  Similar efforts at reciprocal trade treaties with Santo Domingo and Spain's American colonies were defeated by February 1885, and an existing reciprocity treaty with the Kingdom of Hawaii was allowed to lapse. 
The 47th Congress spent a great deal of time on immigration, and at times was in accord with Arthur.  In July 1882 Congress easily passed a bill regulating steamships that carried immigrants to the United States.  To their surprise, Arthur vetoed it and requested revisions, which they made and Arthur then approved.  He also signed in August of that year the Immigration Act of 1882, which levied a 50-cent tax on immigrants to the United States, and excluded from entry the mentally ill, the intellectually disabled, criminals, or any other person potentially dependent upon public assistance. 
A more contentious debate materialized over the status of Chinese immigrants in January 1868, the Senate had ratified the Burlingame Treaty with China, allowing an unrestricted flow of Chinese into the country. As the economy soured after the Panic of 1873, Chinese immigrants were blamed for depressing workmen's wages in reaction Congress in 1879 attempted to abrogate the 1868 treaty by passing the Chinese Exclusion Act, but President Hayes vetoed it.  Three years later, after China had agreed to treaty revisions, Congress tried again to exclude working class Chinese laborers Senator John F. Miller of California introduced another Chinese Exclusion Act that blocked entry of Chinese laborers for a twenty-year period.  The bill passed the Senate and House by overwhelming margins, but this as well was vetoed by Arthur, who concluded the 20-year ban to be a breach of the renegotiated treaty of 1880. That treaty allowed only a "reasonable" suspension of immigration. Eastern newspapers praised the veto, while it was condemned in the Western states. Congress was unable to override the veto, but passed a new bill reducing the immigration ban to ten years. Although he still objected to this denial of entry to Chinese laborers, Arthur acceded to the compromise measure, signing the Chinese Exclusion Act into law on May 6, 1882.   The Chinese Exclusion Act attempted to stop all Chinese immigration into the United States for ten years, with exceptions for diplomats, teachers, students, merchants, and travelers. It was widely evaded.  [o]
Naval reform Edit
In the years following the Civil War, American naval power declined precipitously, shrinking from nearly 700 vessels to just 52, most of which were obsolete.  The nation's military focus over the fifteen years before Garfield and Arthur's election had been on the Indian wars in the West, rather than the high seas, but as the region was increasingly pacified, many in Congress grew concerned at the poor state of the Navy.  Garfield's Secretary of the Navy, William H. Hunt advocated reform of the Navy and his successor, William E. Chandler appointed an advisory board to prepare a report on modernization.  Based on the suggestions in the report, Congress appropriated funds for the construction of three steel protected cruisers (Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago) and an armed dispatch-steamer (Dolphin), collectively known as the ABCD Ships or the Squadron of Evolution.  Congress also approved funds to rebuild four monitors (Puritan, Amphitrite, Monadnock, and Terror), which had lain uncompleted since 1877.  The contracts to build the ABCD ships were all awarded to the low bidder, John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania,  even though Roach once employed Secretary Chandler as a lobbyist.  Democrats turned against the "New Navy" projects and, when they won control of the 48th Congress, refused to appropriate funds for seven more steel warships.  Even without the additional ships, the state of the Navy improved when, after several construction delays, the last of the new ships entered service in 1889. 
Civil rights Edit
Like his Republican predecessors, Arthur struggled with the question of how his party was to challenge the Democrats in the South and how, if at all, to protect the civil rights of black southerners.  Since the end of Reconstruction, conservative white Democrats (or "Bourbon Democrats") had regained power in the South, and the Republican party dwindled rapidly as their primary supporters in the region, blacks were disenfranchised.  One crack in the solidly Democratic South emerged with the growth of a new party, the Readjusters, in Virginia.  Having won an election in that state on a platform of more education funding (for black and white schools alike) and abolition of the poll tax and the whipping post, many northern Republicans saw the Readjusters as a more viable ally in the South than the moribund southern Republican party.  Arthur agreed, and directed the federal patronage in Virginia through the Readjusters rather than the Republicans.  He followed the same pattern in other Southern states, forging coalitions with independents and Greenback Party members.  Some black Republicans felt betrayed by the pragmatic gambit, but others (including Frederick Douglass and ex-Senator Blanche K. Bruce) endorsed the administration's actions, as the Southern independents had more liberal racial policies than the Democrats.  Arthur's coalition policy was only successful in Virginia, however, and by 1885 the Readjuster movement began to collapse with the election of a Democratic president. 
Other federal action on behalf of blacks was equally ineffective: when the Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), Arthur expressed his disagreement with the decision in a message to Congress, but was unable to persuade Congress to pass any new legislation in its place.  Arthur did, however, effectively intervene to overturn a court-martial ruling against a black West Point cadet, Johnson Whittaker, after the Judge Advocate General of the Army, David G. Swaim, found the prosecution's case against Whittaker to be illegal and based on racial bias. 
The administration faced a different challenge in the West, where the LDS Church was under government pressure to stop the practice of polygamy in Utah Territory.  Garfield had believed polygamy was criminal behavior and was morally detrimental to family values, and Arthur's views were, for once, in line with his predecessor's.  In 1882, he signed the Edmunds Act into law the legislation made polygamy a federal crime, barring polygamists both from public office and the right to vote. 
Native American policy Edit
The Arthur administration was challenged by changing relations with western Native American tribes.  The American Indian Wars were winding down, and public sentiment was shifting toward more favorable treatment of Native Americans. Arthur urged Congress to increase funding for Native American education, which it did in 1884, although not to the extent he wished.  He also favored a move to the allotment system, under which individual Native Americans, rather than tribes, would own land. Arthur was unable to convince Congress to adopt the idea during his administration but, in 1887, the Dawes Act changed the law to favor such a system.  The allotment system was favored by liberal reformers at the time, but eventually proved detrimental to Native Americans as most of their land was resold at low prices to white speculators.  During Arthur's presidency, settlers and cattle ranchers continued to encroach on Native American territory.  Arthur initially resisted their efforts, but after Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller, an opponent of allotment, assured him that the lands were not protected, Arthur opened up the Crow Creek Reservation in the Dakota Territory to settlers by executive order in 1885.  Arthur's successor, Grover Cleveland, finding that title belonged to the Native Americans, revoked Arthur's order a few months later. 
Health, travel, and 1884 election Edit
Shortly after becoming president, Arthur was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney ailment now referred to as nephritis.  He attempted to keep his condition private, but by 1883 rumors of his illness began to circulate he had become thinner and more aged in appearance, and struggled to keep the pace of the presidency.  To rejuvenate his health outside the confines of Washington, Arthur and some political friends traveled to Florida in April 1883.  The vacation had the opposite effect, and Arthur suffered from intense pain before returning to Washington.  Later that year, on the advice of Missouri Senator George Graham Vest, he visited Yellowstone National Park.  Reporters accompanied the presidential party, helping to publicize the new National Park system.  The Yellowstone trip was more beneficial to Arthur's health than his Florida excursion, and he returned to Washington refreshed after two months of travel. 
As the 1884 presidential election approached, James G. Blaine was considered the favorite for the Republican nomination, but Arthur, too, contemplated a run for a full term as president.  In the months leading up to the 1884 Republican National Convention, however, Arthur began to realize that neither faction of the Republican party was prepared to give him their full support: the Half-Breeds were again solidly behind Blaine, while Stalwarts were undecided some backed Arthur, with others considering Senator John A. Logan of Illinois.  Reform-minded Republicans, friendlier to Arthur after he endorsed civil service reform, were still not certain enough of his reform credentials to back him over Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont, who had long favored their cause.  Business leaders supported him, as did Southern Republicans who owed their jobs to his control of the patronage, but by the time they began to rally around him, Arthur had decided against a serious campaign for the nomination.  He kept up a token effort, believing that to drop out would cast doubt on his actions in office and raise questions about his health, but by the time the convention began in June, his defeat was assured.  Blaine led on the first ballot, and by the fourth ballot he had a majority.  Arthur telegraphed his congratulations to Blaine and accepted his defeat with equanimity.  He played no role in the 1884 campaign, which Blaine would later blame for his loss that November to the Democratic nominee, Grover Cleveland. 
Administration and cabinet Edit
|The Arthur Cabinet|
|President||Chester A. Arthur||1881–1885|
|Secretary of State||James G. Blaine||1881|
|Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen||1881–1885|
|Secretary of the Treasury||William Windom||1881|
|Charles J. Folger||1881–1884|
|Walter Q. Gresham||1884|
|Secretary of War||Robert Todd Lincoln||1881–1885|
|Attorney General||Wayne MacVeagh||1881|
|Benjamin H. Brewster||1881–1885|
|Postmaster General||Thomas Lemuel James||1881|
|Timothy O. Howe||1881–1883|
|Walter Q. Gresham||1883–1884|
|Secretary of the Navy||William H. Hunt||1881–1882|
|William E. Chandler||1882–1885|
|Secretary of the Interior||Samuel J. Kirkwood||1881–1882|
|Henry M. Teller||1882–1885|
Judicial appointments Edit
Arthur made appointments to fill two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court. The first vacancy arose in July 1881 with the death of Associate Justice Nathan Clifford, a Democrat who had been a member of the Court since before the Civil War.  Arthur nominated Horace Gray, a distinguished jurist from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to replace him, and the nomination was easily confirmed.  Gray would serve on the Court for over 20 years until resigning in 1902.  The second vacancy occurred when Associate Justice Ward Hunt retired in January 1882. Arthur first nominated his old political boss, Roscoe Conkling he doubted that Conkling would accept, but felt obligated to offer a high office to his former patron.  The Senate confirmed the nomination but, as expected, Conkling declined it,  the last time a confirmed nominee declined an appointment.  Senator George Edmunds was Arthur's next choice, but he declined to be considered.  Instead, Arthur nominated Samuel Blatchford, who had been a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for the prior four years.  Blatchford accepted, and his nomination was approved by the Senate within two weeks.  Blatchford served on the Court until his death in 1893.
Arthur left office in 1885 and returned to his New York City home. Two months before the end of his term, several New York Stalwarts approached him to request that he run for United States Senate, but he declined, preferring to return to his old law practice at Arthur, Knevals & Ransom.  His health limited his activity with the firm, and Arthur served only of counsel. He took on few assignments with the firm and was often too ill to leave his house.  He managed a few public appearances until the end of 1885. 
After spending the summer of 1886 in New London, Connecticut, he returned home where he became seriously ill, and on November 16, ordered nearly all of his papers, both personal and official, burned.  [p] The next morning, Arthur suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and never regained consciousness. He died the following day, November 18, at the age of 57.  On November 22, a private funeral was held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, attended by President Cleveland and ex-President Hayes, among other notables.  Arthur was buried with his family members and ancestors in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York. He was laid beside his wife in a sarcophagus on a large corner of the plot.  In 1889, a monument was placed on Arthur's burial plot by sculptor Ephraim Keyser of New York, consisting of a giant bronze female angel figure placing a bronze palm leaf on a granite sarcophagus. 
Arthur's post-presidency was the second shortest of all presidents who lived past their presidency, only shorter by James K. Polk's brief three-month retirement before he died. 
Several Grand Army of the Republic posts were named for Arthur, including Goff, Kansas  Lawrence, Nebraska  Medford, Oregon  and Ogdensburg, Wisconsin.  On April 5, 1882, Arthur was elected to the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) as a Third Class Companion (insignia number 02430  ), the honorary membership category for militia officers and civilians who made significant contributions to the war effort. 
Union College awarded Arthur the honorary degree of LL.D. in 1883. 
In 1898, the Arthur memorial statue—a fifteen-foot (4.6 m), bronze figure of Arthur standing on a Barre Granite pedestal—was created by sculptor George Edwin Bissell and installed at Madison Square, in New York City.  The statue was dedicated in 1899 and unveiled by Arthur's sister, Mary Arthur McElroy.  At the dedication, Secretary of War Elihu Root described Arthur as, ". wise in statesmanship and firm and effective in administration," while acknowledging that Arthur was isolated in office and unloved by his own party. 
Arthur's unpopularity in life carried over into his assessment by historians and his reputation after leaving office disappeared.  By 1935, historian George F. Howe said that Arthur had achieved "an obscurity in strange contrast to his significant part in American history."  By 1975, however, Thomas C. Reeves would write that Arthur's "appointments, if unspectacular, were unusually sound the corruption and scandal that dominated business and politics of the period did not tarnish his administration."  As 2004 biographer Zachary Karabell wrote, although Arthur was "physically stretched and emotionally strained, he strove to do what was right for the country."  Indeed, Howe had earlier surmised, "Arthur adopted [a code] for his own political behavior but subject to three restraints: he remained to everyone a man of his word he kept scrupulously free from corrupt graft he maintained a personal dignity, affable and genial though he might be. These restraints . distinguished him sharply from the stereotype politician." 
Arthur's townhouse, the Chester A. Arthur Home was sold to William Randolph Hearst.  Since 1944 it is the location of Kalustyan's Spice Emporium. 
In the 1995 film Die Hard with a Vengeance, a suspected bomb is placed in a school named after Arthur.
- ^ Arthur was Vice President under James A. Garfield and became President upon Garfield's death on September 19, 1881. This was prior to the adoption of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in 1967, and a vacancy in the office of Vice President was not filled until the next election and inauguration.
- ^ Some older sources list the date as October 5, 1830,  but biographer Thomas C. Reeves confirms that this is incorrect: Arthur claimed to be a year younger "out of simple vanity."
- ^ Arthur pronounced his middle name with the accent on the second syllable. 
- ^ Even if he had been born in Canada, Arthur might have still claimed to be a "natural born citizen" based on his mother having been born in and recently resided in the United States.
- ^ The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution applies that clause, which specifically restricts presidential eligibility, to would-be vice presidents: "No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President."
- ^ Among the facts that argue against Hinman's theories are the entries for Chester A. Arthur in several U.S. Censuses from before he was politically prominent, which list his birthplace as Vermont, and the entry of his birth in the Arthur family Bible, which also indicates Vermont as his birthplace. In addition, contemporary newspaper articles, including the 1871 stories about his appointment as Collector of the Port of New York, all indicate that he was born in Vermont, though some incorrectly give his birthplace as Burlington. Hinman failed to explain why Arthur would have fabricated these records and the biographical information he provided to newspapers to conceal a Canadian birth when the only thing being born in Canada might possibly affect was Arthur's eligibility for the presidency, which no one at the time of his birth or in the years between his birth and his nomination for vice president in 1880 had any reason to think he would aspire to.
- ^ $10,000 in 1870 is equal to $204,658 in present terms. 
- ^ $50,000 in 1871 is equal to $1.08 million in present terms. 
- ^Charles K. Graham filled Merritt's former position. 
- ^ Biographer George Howe takes this exchange at face value,  but later biographers suspect it may be apocryphal. 
- ^ Before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Senators were elected by state legislatures.
- ^ Conkling and Pratt were ultimately denied re-election, being succeeded by Elbridge G. Lapham and Warner Miller, respectively.
- ^ One presidential oath was administered by a state court judge, also in New York City by a New York State judge: Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York, administered the first presidential oath to George Washington at Federal Hall in 1789 (there were yet no federal judges). The only other presidential oath administered by someone other than a Federal justice or judge, the first swearing in of Calvin Coolidge in 1923 (by his father John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., a justice of the peace and notary public, in the family home), was also re-taken in Washington due to questions about the validity of the first oath. This second oath taking was done in secret, and did not become public knowledge until Harry M. Daugherty revealed it in 1932.
- ^ Arthur first offered the post to Edwin D. Morgan, who had been his patron in New York Morgan was confirmed by the Senate, but declined on the grounds of age. He died in 1883. 
- ^ The portion of the law denying citizenship to Chinese-American children born in the United States was later found unconstitutional in United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898.
- ^ A small number of Arthur's papers survived and passed to his grandson, Gavin Arthur (born Chester Alan Arthur III), who allowed Arthur's biographer, Thomas C. Reeves, to examine them in the 1970s. 
- ^ abcThe New-York Civil List, pp. 170–171.
- ^ Sturgis, Amy H. (2003). Presidents from Hayes Through McKinley. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 83–84. ISBN978-0-3133-1712-5 .
- ^ Alexander K. McClure, Colonel Alexander K. McClure's recollections of Half a Century (1902) p 115 online
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 423.
- ^Feldman, p. 95.
- ^Howe, p. 5.
- ^ abcdeReeves 1975, p. 4 Howe, p. 4.
- ^Hambley, p. 103.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 4.
- ^Reeves & July 1, 1970, p. 179.
- ^ abReeves (Autumn 1970), p. 294.
- ^Howe, p. 7 Reeves 1975, p. 6.
- ^ abReeves 1975, p. 5.
- ^Howe, pp. 5, 25, 28, 29.
- ^Vermont Bureau of Publicity, p. 84.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 436.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 7–8.
- ^Hudson, p. 246.
- ^"Sister of Arthur Dead".
- ^Feldman, p. 13.
- ^"Burlington Free Press".
- ^Reeves & July 1, 1970, p. 184.
- ^Jenks, p. 310.
- ^Reeves (Autumn 1970), p. 295.
- ^"Mrs. John E. McElroy Dead".
- ^Karabell, pp. 53–54.
- ^Fisher, p. 28.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 202–203.
- ^Reeves (Autumn 1970), pp. 292–293.
- ^Ferris 1999, p. 127.
- ^Howe, p. 7.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, p. 9.
- ^ abReeves 1975, p. 10.
- ^ abReeves 1975, p. 11.
- ^Karabell, p. 12.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 14.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 14–15.
- ^ abcdReeves 1975, p. 16.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 19–20.
- ^Karabell, p. 14.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 17–18.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 21.
- ^ abHowe, pp. 18–19.
- ^ abHowe, pp. 20–21 Reeves 1975, pp. 22–23.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 24–25.
- ^ abHowe, p. 25.
- ^ abHowe, pp. 26–27 Reeves 1975, pp. 28–29.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 30.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 33.
- ^Howe, pp. 30–31 Reeves 1975, pp. 33–34.
- ^Howe, pp. 29–30 Reeves 1975, pp. 34–35.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 35.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 84.
- ^ abReeves 1975, p. 37.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 38.
- ^ abKarabell, p. 17.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 39 Howe, p. 37.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 40–41.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 42–45.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 71–73.
- ^ abReeves 1975, p. 48.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 49–50 Howe, p. 42.
- ^ ab 1634 to 1699:
- Harris, P. (1996). "Inflation and Deflation in Early America, 1634–1860: Patterns of Change in the British American Economy". Social Science History. 20 (4): 469–505. JSTOR1171338. 1700-1799:
- McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF) . American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present:
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–" . Retrieved January 1, 2020 .
- ^Howe, p. 42.
- ^The Tribune 1871, p. 2.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 51–53 Howe, pp. 44–45.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 61–67 Schwartz, p. 182.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 57–58.
- ^Doyle & Swaney, p. 188.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 60 Howe, pp. 46–47.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 59, 63, 85–86.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 68.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 69–70.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 76–77.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 78–79.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 79–84 Howe, p. 49.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 87–89.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 95–96 Karabell, pp. 26–27.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 100–105.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 106–107.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 318–319.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 322–325 Reeves 1975, pp. 118–119 Howe, pp. 68–69.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 119–120.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 121–122.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 322–325 Reeves 1975, p. 121.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 121–123.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 123.
- ^Hoogenboom, p. 352 Reeves 1975, pp. 125–126.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 353–355 Reeves 1975, pp. 126–131.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 370–371 Reeves 1975, pp. 136–137.
- ^Hoogenboom, p. 370.
- ^Hoogenboom, p. 354.
- ^Hoogenboom, pp. 382–384 Reeves 1975, pp. 138–148.
- ^Howe, p. 85.
- ^"The Sun".
- ^"Boston Post".
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 153–155 Peskin, p. 704.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 153–155 Howe, pp. 96–99.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 158–159 Karabell, pp. 38–39.
- ^Howe, pp. 98–99 Karabell, pp. 38–39.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 160–165.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 177–178 Howe, pp. 107–108 Karabell, pp. 39–40.
- ^Karabell, p. 41 Reeves 1975, p. 178.
- ^Howe, pp. 107–108.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 179–181.
- ^Howe, p. 109.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 179 Karabell, pp. 40–41.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 190–194.
- ^Jordan, pp. 292–305.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 194–196 Jordan, pp. 294–295.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 196–197 Jordan, pp. 297–302.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 196 Jordan, p. 301.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 198–202.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 203–204.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 205–207.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 213–216 Karabell, pp. 52–53.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 216–219 Karabell, pp. 54–56.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 220–223.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 223–230.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 230–233.
- ^ abcdReeves 1975, pp. 233–237 Howe, pp. 147–149.
- ^Karabell, p. 59 Reeves 1975, p. 237.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 238–241 Doenecke, pp. 53–54.
- "Charles Guiteau's reasons for assassinating President Garfield, 1882 | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History". www.gilderlehrman.org. Archived from the original on August 7, 2018 . Retrieved August 10, 2018 .
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 241–243 Howe, pp. 152–154.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 244–248 Karabell, pp. 61–63.
- ^McCabe, p. 764.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 247–248.
- ^The New York Times 1881.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 53–54 Reeves 1975, p. 248.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 252–253, 268–269.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 275–276.
- ^ abHowe, p. 160 Reeves 1975, p. 254.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 254.
- ^ abHowe, p. 161 Reeves 1975, pp. 254–255.
- ^ abHowe, pp. 160–161 Reeves 1975, pp. 255–257.
- ^ abcdHowe, pp. 162–163 Reeves 1975, pp. 257–258.
- ^ abDoenecke, pp. 93–95 Reeves 1975, pp. 297–298.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 299–300 Howe, p. 182.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 301–302 Howe, pp. 185–189.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 303–305 Howe, pp. 189–193.
- ^ abcdReeves 1975, pp. 320–324 Doenecke, pp. 96–97 Theriault, pp. 52–53, 56.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 99–100 Theriault, pp. 57–63.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, p. 324 Doenecke, pp. 101–102.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 325–327 Doenecke, pp. 102–104.
- ^ abHowe, pp. 209–210.
- Arthur, Chester A. (1884). "Fourth State of the Union Address". Wikisource, The Free Library . Retrieved July 15, 2011 .
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 328–329 Doenecke, p. 168.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 330–333 Doenecke, pp. 169–171.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 334–335.
- ^ abcdReeves 1975, pp. 280–282 Doenecke, p. 81.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 281.
- ^ Lewis A. Kimmel, Federal-Budget and Fiscal Policy 1789–1958, (Washington, D. C.: The Brooking Institute, 1959). Cited in Dworsky: "The temptation to squander money was overwhelming the Rivers and Harbors Act passed over (President) Arthur's veto in 1882 demonstrated how strongly it lay upon the Congress."
- ^Howe, pp. 196–197 Reeves 1975, pp. 281–282 Karabell, p. 90.
- ^ abDoenecke, pp. 55–57 Reeves 1975, pp. 284–289.
- ^ abDoenecke, pp. 129–132 Reeves 1975, pp. 289–293 Bastert, pp. 653–671.
- ^ abDoenecke, pp. 173–175 Reeves 1975, pp. 398–399, 409.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 175–178 Reeves 1975, pp. 398–399, 407–410.
- ^ abcHowe, pp. 168–169 Doenecke, p. 81.
- ^Hutchinson, p. 162 Howe, p. 169.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 277–278 Hoogenboom, pp. 387–389.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 278–279 Doenecke, pp. 81–84.
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- ^Reeves 1975, p. 337 Doenecke, p. 145.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 338–341 Doenecke, pp. 145–147.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 147–149.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 342–343 Abbot 1896, pp. 346–347.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 343–345 Doenecke, pp. 149–151.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 349–350 Doenecke, pp. 152–153.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 306–308 Doenecke, pp. 105–108.
- ^ abcdReeves 1975, pp. 307–309 Ayers, pp. 46–47.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 310–313.
- ^Ayers, pp. 47–48.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 112–114.
- ^Marszalek, passim.
- ^ abcDoenecke, pp. 84–85.
- ^Doenecke, pp. 85–89.
- ^ abDoenecke, pp. 89–92 Reeves 1975, pp. 362–363.
- ^Doenecke, p. 91 Stuart, pp. 452–454.
- ^ abcDoenecke, pp. 89–90 Reeves 1975, pp. 362–363.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 317–318 Howe, pp. 243–244.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 355–359 Howe, pp. 244–246.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 364–367 Howe, pp. 247–248.
- ^Karabell, pp. 124–125 Reeves 1975, pp. 366–367.
- ^ abcReeves 1975, pp. 368–371 Howe, pp. 254–257.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 373–375 Doenecke, pp. 181–182.
- ^ abReeves 1975, pp. 380–381 Howe, pp. 264–265.
- ^Reeves 1975, pp. 387–389 Howe, pp. 265–266.
- ^ abcdefReeves 1975, pp. 260–261 Howe, p. 195.
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- ^The New York Times 1894.
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- ^"GAR Posts by State: Wisconsin", p. 12.
- ^"Original Civil War Officer Members of MOLLUS".
- ^"The Loyal Legion", p. 1.
- ^University of the State of New York, pp. 21–22.
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- ^ abKarabell, p. 139.
- ^Howe, p. 288.
- ^Reeves 1975, p. 420.
- ^Howe, p. 290.
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The Best Biographies of James A. Garfield
Who would have guessed that a president of so little fame and so brief a tenure in the White House would prove such an interesting biographical subject?
Despite what I perceived to be long odds, each of the three biographies of James Garfield I read were both interesting and meritorious. And one of them is among the most popular three or four books on any president at the moment.
Somewhat in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, Garfield was born into poverty and worked diligently to better himself through education. But where Lincoln heard the clarion call of the legal profession, Garfield was drawn to teaching and, soon, the Union army. Both Lincoln and Garfield were drawn into national politics in mid-life, and both of their presidencies were cut short by a madman’s bullet.
Lincoln’s presidency witnessed the entirety of the Civil War before an assassin ended his second term as president. But James Garfield barely had time to appoint a cabinet and vanquish a power-hungry Republican rival before being shot just months into his first term.
I was surprised and delighted to find the story of this 200-day president so interesting. And I found myself wondering what might have been had he lived. Several generations of historians have pondered the same.
*The first biography I read was “Dark Horse: the Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield” by Kenneth Ackerman. Published in 2003, this book proves to be a political thriller almost exclusively focused on the last sixteen months of Garfield’s life.
Ackerman’s account of the 1880 Republican National Convention in Chicago is absolutely captivating and the book’s pace rarely slows during its 453 pages. His accounting of the bitter political rivalry between fellow Republicans James Blaine and Roscoe Conkling is terrific. And it sets the stage perfectly for Ackerman’s description of the power struggle which later erupted between President Garfield and Senator Conkling.
As a presidential biography this book’s key weakness is its lack of coverage of most of Garfield’s life. And although it is tempting to assume that not much of consequence happened during his first forty-eight years, that is hardly the case. Nonetheless, this is an incredibly compelling narrative that will thrill all but the most hard-core of historians. (Full review here)
*The second biography I read was “Garfield: A Biography” by Allan Peskin. Published in 1978, this was the first comprehensive biography of Garfield in four decades and was published just weeks before Margaret Leech’s biography “The Garfield Orbit” (which was completed after her death and is on my follow-up list).
In many ways, Peskin’s biography of Garfield typifies the perfect presidential biography. It is comprehensive, provides penetrating insight into its subject and proves informative without becoming dull or tedious. Despite its age it is easy to read and digest.
Its key flaws are a relative lack of focus on Garfield’s personal life (which leaves him more two-dimensional than he deserves) and a failure to provide more historical context. Often Peskin is so focused on Garfield’s “bubble” that national events of great importance are not articulated. But overall, Peskin’s “Garfield: A Biography” is excellent. (Full review here)
*The last biography of Garfield I read was “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” by Candice Millard. Published in 2011, this popular narrative currently ranks as one of the most popular books of any kind on any president. Though it falls somewhat short as a presidential biography, the attention it receives is well-deserved.
“Destiny of the Republic” has nearly all of the drama of Ackerman’s book, but with a tighter focus on Garfield’s assassination, poor medical care and death…and less emphasis on his politics. But where Ackerman fails to cover Garfield’s early life at all, Millard merely provides it with glancing coverage. Only Peskin’s biography thoroughly covers the first 95% of Garfield’s life.
But what Millard provides is unique: a damning and insightful indictment of the medical care Garfield received after being struck by an assassin’s bullet. She nicely weaves together the stories of Garfield, his assassin, his doctor and Alexander Graham Bell in a way that is interesting and informative.
To a lesser extent she also tells the stories of other important political figures such as Garfield’s vice president. But for Millard, politics are secondary to the science of life and death. And she clearly believes that Garfield could have lived to finish his term in office. Although imperfect as a presidential biography, “Destiny of the Republic” is entertaining, provocative and intensely interesting. (Full review here)
***During my journey through Garfield’s biographies I discovered another biography I need to read: Margaret Leech’s “The Garfield Orbit” which was unfinished when she died in 1974. Harry Brown completed the biography and it was published in 1978. Some observers have suggested it is superior to Peskin’s biography so I’m particularly curious to see how it compares. But, alas, that may have to wait until 2016. Or later.
Best Biography of James Garfield: Allan Peskin’s “Garfield: A Biography”
The Garfield Cabinet - History
Passengers wait for a bus in front of the Garfield station, looking northeast on January 21, 2005, as a Flxible bus pulls up. Many of them probably transferred from the Green Line. The modern station house tucked under the elevated structure is flanked by elevator towers, connecting to the dual side platforms up above. Although built about five years after the project, the Garfield station largely resembles stations built for the Green Line rehab in the 1990s. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
Garfield Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, Washington Park
Green Line: South Side Elevated
Park'n'Ride: 117 spaces
Address : 320 E. Garfield Boulevard
Established : October 1, 1892
Original Line : South Side Rapid Transit
Previous Names : 55th Street
Rebuilt : 2000-01
Skip-Stop Type :
Status : In Use
The Garfield station side platforms are seen looking north on February 12, 1945. Note the sections of original, ornamental railing on the early sections of the platforms, on the left and behind the canopy on the right. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from the Scott Greig Collection)
55th Street station was built as part of the South Side Rapid Transit's extension to the Columbian Exposition in 1892. The original station building was a grade-level structure that resembled other stations built as part of the extension, such as those now removed from Indiana, 43rd, 47th, 51st, 58th, and 61st.
Designed by architect Myron H. Church and built by the Rapid Transit and Bridge Construction Company (under general contractor Alfred Walcott and engineer R.I. Sloan), the station house was designed with a Queen Anne-style influence. The building was constructed of brick with stone sills and foundation with polychrome brickwork along the top of the exterior in a latticed diamond pattern. Perhaps the building's most prominent feature was the bay that projected from the front elevation, with its broad half-cone roof. The building's bay and brick frieze display many qualities of the Queen Anne style, although the flat terra-cotta cornice and other elements show some examples of early Chicago School of architecture.
The dual side platforms, which were end-loaded at their north end, consisted of a wooden deck on a steel structure. The original canopies were humped-shaped, typical of the original South Side Rapid Transit designs, but were replaced early on with short canopies of steel posts supporting a flat tin roof. Unlike most South Side "L" stations whose platform were later extended over the street (often with auxiliary exit or entrance/exit stairs added to the other side of the street opposite the station house), 55th's were extended only southward and the platforms remained completely south of the street. This was due to the street being a park boulevard, with a wide landscaped median and expensive homes lining the street. The South Park Commission, which controlled the boulevard environment and operations, would not have permitted the visual intrusion over the street. In fact, the commission insisted that the steel elevated structure have decorative elements and a more graceful appearance in order for the South Side Rapid Transit company to gain their approval to construct across the right-of-way.
The station at 55th Street/Garfield Blvd. has an interesting history of how it has been named and referred to over the years, with the name used often following local tradition and preference rather than the official name of the street on which the station is located.
The street in front of the station had technically not been named 55th Street for about two decades before the "L" station was built. The civic desire to create a continuous ring of parks and boulevards encircling the city led to the Illinois Legislature creating three independent park commissions -- the South, West and Lincoln Park commissions -- in 1869 to acquire the necessary lands for, design, built, and maintain the large parks and connecting boulevards. 55th Street was identified to be one of the connecting park boulevards, expanded to a broad parkway with a wide grassy median, between Western Avenue and Kankakee Avenue (later changed to South Parkway [or in some places, South Park Way], then in 1968 to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive), where it connected to one of the planned large parks, South Park.
The Garfield station house is seen in 1985. Though covered with a coat of paint, most of the station's original features remain and can be seen through the paint. The decorative polychromatic brickwork is clearly evident on the side elevation. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Olga Stefanos)
As part of their plans for South Park (renamed Washington Park in 1881), famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux renamed the third "grand approach" that had formerly been 55th Street, located on the west side of the park, "Pavilion Parkway". The street was so named because it led to a congregating area in the park Olmsted & Vaux called "The Pavilion", a concourse for carriages, a music stand, grandstand and refectory. By the early 1880s, maps were labeling the street as Pavilion Parkway (or Pavilion Park Way, such as the 1881 Mitchell map of Chicago) from Western Avenue to the park.
By 1882, and possibly sooner, the street was again renamed, this time for assassinated president James A. Garfield, killed in office in 1881. Newspaper articles from as early as 1882 refer to the street as Garfield Boulevard (or in one case, "Garfield avenue"), though they also usually include a reference to it as "Fifty-fifth street" as well by 1887 (and perhaps earlier), maps begin to label the street as Garfield Blvd. However, while some maps label the street solely as Garfield Blvd., other maps from this period and later also label the road as 55th Street, marking it as both. Even those that only marked the street as Garfield continued to label mainline railroad stations at the boulevard (such as those of the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad at Wallace Ave. and the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway [part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system] at Stewart Ave.) as 55th Street Station. This would suggest that the street itself was formally renamed all the way from Western to Washington Park, but that the colloquial use of "55th Street" to refer to the street and its train stations was probably strong for a number of years after the renaming, hence its inclusion on maps. (It is also possible that the railroads were slow to name their stations.) It is also interesting to note that, technically, the street was not even in the City of Chicago at this point -- the land in this area, east of State Street (including where the future "L" station would be), was outside the city limits and located in Hyde Park Township, until the township was annexed to the city in 1889.
The South Side Rapid Transit appears to have referred to the station as "55th Street", choosing the local practice over the street's formal name. An 1892 Chicago Tribune article refers to the street as both "Fifty-fifth street" and "Garfield boulevard" in the same paragraph, but refers to the "L" stop only as "Fifty-fifth street station". "L" maps issued by the elevated companies labeled the stop as "55th St." (or just "55th") through the end of private ownership. But, by 1945 at least some signs on the station platforms read " GARFIELD BLVD. " (possibly much earlier, since these signs had no address coordinates, something the CER began adding to signs in the mid-1920s). The station finally began to appear on maps with its updated name on CTA's 1954 system map, although even then was was listed as "Garfield (55th St.)". Not until the philosophy of updating, streamlining and standardization that accompanied the introduction of the CTA's KDR graphic standards system did it begin to be listed on maps simply as "Garfield" in 1969, and on new station signage in the 1970s.
The interior of the Garfield station house is seen looking southwest in the unpaid area in 1971. The agent's booth is old, possibly original. That there is only the agent-controlled turnstile speaks to the station's relatively low passenger volume at the time. The station is still lit by incandescent lights. For a larger view, click here. (CTA photo, Graham Garfield Collection)
It's interesting to compare how long it took for the station to adopt the street's new name to another South Side street named for an assassinated elected official -- 22nd Street, renamed for Chicago mayor Anton Cermak in 1933, within days after Cermak was killed by a bullet meant for President Franklin Roosevelt -- whose station began to be listed on "L" maps with the street's new name (with the old in parentheses) in 1934, and solely by its new numberless name by 1936.
In the CTA's 1949 North-South Route service revision, Garfield became a B station under the A/B skip-stop system due to its relatively low number of users compared to other nearby stations. With the next station south, 58th, an A station and then the junction at 59th Street where Englewood A and Jackson Park B trains diverged, this meant that during hours when skip-stop service ran the last transfer point between the branches (or first, depending on your direction of travel) was one stop north, at 51st. (During off-peak hours, trains typically made all stops, making 58th the transfer station nearest the junction.)
Garfield's skip-stop designation changed, temporarily at first, when on March 4, 1982 service on Jackson Park branch was suspended south of 61st Street due to structural defects in the Dorchester bridge over the Illinois Central Railroad. B trains continued to serve 61st station (and use 61st Yard) just a short distance onto the branch, with substitute shuttle bus service operated between 61st and Jackson Park stations via 63rd Street to Stony Island. During the closure, King Drive, Cottage Grove, University and Jackson Park (Stony Island) stations were closed, and Garfield was made an AB station to facilitate use of the #55 Garfield bus as an alternate service option for the closed "L" branch. For a permanent solution, the city's Department of Transportation come up with a number of options, which included cutting service to Cottage Grove or University on the west side of the IC tracks, abandoning the Jackson Park branch altogether and replacing the IC bridge and restoring service to the Stony Island terminal, the latter of which Mayor Byrne supported. On December 12, 1982, service was restored as far as the University Avenue stop. The defective bridge was later demolished as was the Stony Island station. By this time, the opening of the Dan Ryan Line had drawn away many Jackson Park riders who found it more convenient to board an "L" south of 63rd Street, even if they still had to take a bus. However, Garfield remained an AB station even after service was restored to the Jackson Park branch, with the skip-stop change made permanent.
The Garfield station house is seen looking south in 1995, amidst its closure during the rehab of the Green Line. When it was closed, it was painted in shades of red -- salmon, maroon and red -- a scheme used on many "L" stations. Little would be done to the station during the project, however, save for a new paint job and some modest maintenance. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from the Graham Garfield Collection)
On January 24, 1982, as an economy measure CTA initiated on-train fare collection by conductors nights and Sunday mornings at Garfield and about a dozen other North-South Route stations, discontinuing all-night ticket agent coverage. This required modifications to the station house fare control areas to allow passengers to be able to bypass the agent's booth and turnstiles during pay-on-train hours.
With the demolition of the original stations at Cottage Grove and King Drive, Garfield Blvd. is the last remaining station dating back to the first "L" line in Chicago, making it the oldest on the entire system.
Green Line and Station Renovation
On February 21, 1993, the South Side Englewood-Jackson Park service, formerly paired with the Howard service and forming the North-South Route, was repaired with the Lake Street service and formed the CTA's new Green Line.
On January 9, 1994, the Green Line closed for a two-year rehabilitation. All stations on the line, including Garfield, closed, with several stops to be replaced with new, modern facilities. The CTA Planning Department found that one thing which many riders felt the system's facilities and amenities did not meet their needs, transit-related and otherwise. One solution to that problem the CTA came up with was the construction of what was dubbed "superstations." The plan was to construct one at Pulaski on the West Side and at 63rd Street (though it wasn't specified where) or perhaps Garfield on the equally economically-depressed South Side. The proposed $7 million superstation at Garfield was to include many facilities, from a convenience store to a bank branch to a day care center, all to better meet the needs of the riding public. It was also hoped that such stations would serve as magnet for redevelopment in the depressed areas of the West Side. The new Garfield station was scheduled to open by fall of 1996, but neither facility was built and Garfield station reopened with the rest of the Green Line in May 1996 with its original station house and platforms still in use.
One of a series of placards CTA issued in 1996 showing Green Line stations that were still under design or construction depicted a rendering of the proposed Garfield superstation. Whether this was a concrete design or just a concept is not clear. For a larger view, click here. (CTA)
On September 15, 1999, the CTA announced its plans to improve the Garfield station with a new station house. However, unable to move the "superstation" proposed a few years earlier forward, CTA elected to build a standard rapid transit facility so that the community could benefit from a modern station.
The rebuilt Garfield station is located on the north side of Garfield Boulevard, across the parkway from the historic station facility. The station house has glass and metal facades on the front and sides of its main entry, flanked by tall elevator towers clad in white glazed brick with thin horizontal green bands. The side and rear elevations of the station house behind the elevator towers are blank walls faced in white glazed brick.
The station interior is fairly utilitarian, with white glazed brick walls, concrete floors, and a suspended corrugated metal panelled ceiling. A stainless steel octagonal Customer Assistant booth, a design typical for "L" stations built in that era, is located in the middle of the interior, with turnstiles to the east of it and a tall barrier fence and an exit rotogate turnstile on its west side. The station features elevators to each platform for accessibility in addition to stairs, as well as an escalator to the inbound platform.
The new Garfield platforms and elevator towers, in the early phases of construction, are seen looking north on August 16, 2000. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The rebuilt station features dual side platforms extending north from the north side of the boulevard. The platforms have concrete decks and canopies approximately six cars long, each simply designed with a flat, angled roof and cantilevered from a row of support columns along the back of the platform. The railings are typical of the renovated Green Line stations, with green-painted metal frame split into panels, a round top piece, and mesh panels. The rest of the platform steel was painted white. The platforms were outfitted with stainless steel windbreaks, benches, lights, and heaters.
The scope of the station reconstruction project also included new communications, public address and HVAC systems, new communications, electrical and equipment rooms, and the removal of the platforms, canopies, stairs, fare control equipment, and CA kiosk at the old station.
By the end of Summer 2000, the steel framework for the new platforms and the concrete elevator shaft towers had been erected. In addition, a foundation had been laid for the new station house.
The new, modern Garfield Green Line station is open and ready for passengers in this view looking north in front of the new facility in July 2001 . For a larger view, click here. (CTA photo, Graham Garfield Collection)
By April 2001, the masonry station house was largely complete, with work progressing on the escalators, elevators, electrical work, HVAC, drainage and station house roofing. The escalator and stairs were completed and handrails were installed on the platforms. Installation of elevators, roofing, lighting, front station exterior, stairs and electrical and mechanical systems continued through May.
An era in "L" history passed into being on Monday, July 16, 2001, when the old Garfield station closed and the new station came into service. The historic Garfield station was permanently closed at 1600 hours, at which time the new modern station opened on the north side of Garfield Boulevard.
Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett, Chicago Transit Authority President Frank Kruesi and 20th Ward Alderman Arenda Troutman officially opened the new CTA Green Line station house at Garfield Boulevard on October 17, 2001, despite having actually opened to the public about three earlier. Ridership at the Garfield station dropped to 227,118 in 1993 and rose 1.5% to 230,414 in 2000. As of the end of 2001, 262,618 customers had used the Garfield station in 2012, a total of 426,223 entered the Garfield station.
The Oldest "L" Station House: An Uncertain Future
The historic Garfield station house sits secure and intact but largely unused, other than for storage, in this view looking south on October 20, 2013 . It had recently bee n given a fresh coat and green and white paint. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The opening of the new station house on the north side of Garfield Boulevard put into question what the future of the original, historic station house on the south side of the boulevard was to be. The original Garfield station is the oldest station facility on the "L", with the station house and platform dating from 1892. It is perhaps the oldest intact public transit station in the country, according to a report by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks. While the CTA demolished the platforms of the old station after the facility closed, the station house is protected city landmark status.
Landmark status ensures that any significant changes to the structure would need approval, and makes it difficult -- though not entirely impossible --for the the historic station building to be demolished. The ornamental overpass over the boulevard was included along with the station's exterior in the landmark designation, but the designation did not include the station platform and canopies.
The platforms were the last of their kind on the system and while not original to the station, did date from the early years of the century. They were finally demolished in late September 2001.
"We want to make sure the building remains," said Deputy Planning Department Commissioner Jim Peters, who oversaw the Landmarks section at the time, when the landmarks designation proposal was being reviewed. At the time of its closure, the CTA said it "is looking to lease it or making it a second exit for the [new] station." CTA spokeswoman Maria Toscano said the agency would retain the station for a "transit use" that was not identified.
After its closure, the station house was put behind a tall sectional chainlink fence to discourage vandalism of the building. The front doors were replaced with utilitarian steel doors for added security and it was given a fresh coat of white and green paint on the exterior. In the rear, all of the walkway, stair, and canopy structures were removed. The rear elevation of the station house is gray cinderblock, a later modification.
The entrance to the Garfield station park & ride is seen looking east from Prairie Avenue on May 3, 2013. The "L" station is visible in the background the wooden structure is a temporary stairway used from May to October 2013. The identifier pylon is similar to ones made for the Orange Line a decade earlier, only made of stainless steel instead of enameled steel. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
A park'n'ride lot with 117 parking spaces was added near the Garfield station in late 2004, funded by the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program and the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Chicago Transit Board, at its monthly meeting on July 2, 2003, approved the contract to build the new facility to provide an additional option for commuters who travel into the Loop each day. A groundbreaking was held for the lot's construction on Monday, October 6, 2003. The parking lot was built on vacant land located on the west side of the station. Contractor Oakley Construction Company, Inc., of Chicago built the $935,000 project, which was awarded through the competitive bid process.
Amenities of the park'n'ride lot include lighting, canopies to protect customers from the elements, bike racks, landscaping, fencing, and an electronic fare collection system. Standard Parking manages the parking facility for the CTA . For added convenience, a new doorway was added on the west side of the station's entrance area, facing the sidewalk between the parking lot and the station.
A ribbon-cutting was held for the new lot at 10am September 30, 2004. It opened for passenger use the following day, at 4am, Friday, October 1.
The North-South Route (Temporarily) Returns, Thrice
In 2013, the CTA launched the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, a track renewal project to rebuild the Dan Ryan branch tracks from the bottom up, excavating down to the bottom of the trackbed to rebuild the underground drainage system then installing new ballast, ties, and tracks. Some modest station improvements were also performed. In order to perform the work more quickly and cost-effectively, the CTA closed the Dan Ryan branch for five months while work was performed. During that time, there would be no 'L' service on the Dan Ryan branch south of Roosevelt station.
The temporary bus terminal for use by shuttle buses during the closure of the Dan Ryan branch is seen under construction, looking southeast on April 9, 2013. Rebar has been laid and forms set up for the concrete pavement to be poured. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
As part of the alternate service plan for Dan Ryan riders, Red Line trains were rerouted via the old 13th Street Incline from the State Street Subway to the South Side Elevated, where they operated to Ashland/63rd via the South Side Elevated tracks in a pattern reminiscent of the old Howard-Englewood "A" trains of the North-South Route days. Harlem-Cottage Grove Green Line trains continued to operate as well, but due to limited track capacity some Green Line trains from Harlem that would've gone to Ashland/63rd were turned back to Harlem downtown during the weekday rush periods (at Roosevelt in the morning rush and via the Outer Loop in the evening rush).
Free express and limited stop shuttle buses carried "L" passengers from the four closed Dan Ryan stations at 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th to the Garfield station on the South Side elevated, now served by both Red and Green line trains. Operating from approximately 4am to 1am, the shuttles were:
- #R63: Dan Ryan Local Shuttle
- #R69: 69th-Garfield Express Shuttle
- #R79: 79th-Garfield Express Shuttle
- #R87: 87th-Garfield Express Shuttle
- #R95: 95th-Garfield Express Shuttle
The fare control array at the auxiliary stairway to the northbound platform is seen looking north on May 19, 2013. This entrance provided added capacity to the modest-sized station house for the large influx of passengers the Dan Ryan shuttle buses were expected to deposit at the station. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
In addition, an sixth shuttle -- the #R55: Dan Ryan Owl Shuttle -- provided station-to-station service between 95th and 63rd, as well as to the Garfield elevated station, during owl (overnight) hours. The #R69, #R79, #R87, and #R95 were non-stop station-to-station shuttles, while the #R63 and #R55 were limited stop shuttles making stops only at the closed Dan Ryan "L" stations. The #R79, #R87, and #95 operated on the Dan Ryan Expressway between their Dan Ryan stations and Garfield Blvd., while the others use local streets.
Entry to the Garfield elevated station was free during the five-month project, whether transferring from a shuttle bus, from a regular CTA bus route, or simply walking up to the station. This was done in order to not penalize customers who must now make several transfers and a multi-modal trip in substitute for Red Line service. Since a large portion of riders who boarded at Dan Ryan "L" stations did so from connecting buses, the assumption was that, while not paying either to ride a shuttle or board at Garfield, most customers would at least pay when boarding their bus of origin which brought them to the Dan Ryan. However, CTA officials knew that some customers -- those who either started their journey on a free shuttle or at Garfield -- would pay no fare for their inbound trip at all, and simply accepted this as both the cost of the project and an additional concession to already-inconvenienced riders.
The Garfield intermodal facility is seen looking northwest on May 20, 2013, with the "L" station providing the backdrop for the temporary bus terminal, where buses for the four main shuttle routes connecting to the "L" lined up and ready for service. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The biggest changes were needed to the Garfield Green Line station, which had accommodate both Red and Green line trains and, more importantly, be the hub for the bus shuttles serving the closed Dan Ryan stations south of 63rd Street. With so many riders being funneled into the station, and the city&rsquos north-south trunk line now serving the station, daily ridership at Garfield was projected to grow from 1,300 riders to 13,000 riders. In order to meet the demand, a number of modifications were made to the station. A large four-lane bus terminal was constructed on vacant land on the east side of the station, between the elevated structure and Calumet Avenue, to host the #R95, #R87, #R79, #R69, and #R55 shuttles that connected to the station. Built with permanent sewer-connected drainage and asphalt paving with concrete boarding islands, the bus terminal was designed to be retained and converted to a parking lot after the project&rsquos conclusion.
To make bus-train connections easier at Garfield station, and to provide the additional capacity needed, wide new auxiliary stairways were added at the north ends of the platform. Built of heavy, reinforced timbers, the stairs descended to north end of the bus terminal (on the inbound side) and next to the park & ride lot (on the outbound side, with a walkway under the "L" structure to the bus terminal). The canopies cover the stairs extended several feet in front of the bottoms of the stairways to house wide banks of turnstiles, installed for crowd control and passenger counting purposes since no rail fares are being collected at Garfield station -- the turnstiles are set to &ldquofree-wheel&rdquo. Inside the station house, the fencing and exit rotogate on the west side of the centrally-located Customer Assistant booth were temporarily removed to install an additional bank of turnstiles.
Red Line service to Ashland/63rd began on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Following the five-month track reconstruction and renovation work on the Dan Ryan, Red Line service to 95th resumed at 4am, Sunday, October 20, 2013. At the same time, Red Line service via the South Side Elevated and Englewood branch was annulled and Green Line trains resumed service to Ashland/63rd, alternating between the two 63rd Street terminal branches.
The auxiliary stairs behind the station house and the additional turnstiles inside the station house were removed at the conclusion of the project. The bus terminal was closed, with jersey barrier placed across the driveways and fencing installed around the perimeter. Its conversion into a second park & ride lot was not undertaken until early 2014.
Red Line service between Howard and Ashland/63rd via the South Side Elevated returned temporarily in 2017, although it was only select trains and only during weekday rush periods during most times, normal service via the Dan Ryan branch continued. The diversion was necessitated by the $280 million 95th Terminal Improvement Project to expand and greatly improve the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line station -- as construction continued on the new terminal, including foundations and structural steel work next to the tracks, track alignment work, and platform construction, CTA needed to close both the east and west platform tracks (at separate times), severely constraining capacity during rush and requiring a reduction in the number of trains in and out of the station.
On April 3, 2017, CTA began rerouting some Red Line trains, primarily in the off-peak direction, for a few hours each weekday onto the Green Line to or from the Ashland/63rd station. Reroutes onto the south Green Line in the off-peak direction took place in the morning (7:56 to 9:14am) and evening (4:40 to 5:58pm) rush periods (times at Roosevelt, just north of the diversion point) there were also a small number of trains that operated between Ashland/63rd and Howard in the peak direction, though primarily for car-balancing purposes. CTA officials said the reroute affected less than 10 percent of all Red Line trains.
The diversion of select rush period Red Line trains to/from Ashland/63rd lasted for approximately six months, with the last Howard-Ashland/63rd trains running Wednesday evening, November 22, 2017.
The Red Line Ashland/63rd service resumed on July 30, 2018, to allow additional work in, over and around the platform tracks at 95th/Dan Ryan the last day of this iteration of the service last ran on April 26, 2019.
Garfield Gateway Project Renovates Current, Historic Stations
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., joined by Congressman Danny Davis and Congressman Bobby Rush, on January 8, 2017 announced the Garfield Gateway project -- a plan to make major improvements to the Garfield Green Line station to create a strong community focal point on Chicago's South Side and an iconic gateway to the Washington Park community, while providing an improved commuting experience for CTA customers.
In 2016, CTA received $25 million in federal funding for the project through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
The Garfield Gateway project was to improve the environment for commuters in a number of ways, including extending the platform canopies to provide more shelter upgrading platform accessibility, including elevator and escalator improvements and installing public art and landscaping to make the daily customer experience more pleasant.
The Garfield Gateway project complements a larger neighborhood revitalization effort underway by community groups, property owners and the University of Chicago along Garfield Boulevard.
The Garfield Gateway station is a key component of the University of Chicago's Arts + Public Life Initiative's Arts Block project, led by renowned Chicago artist Theaster Gates. The project aims to boost Garfield Boulevard through cultural, civic and commercial spaces and programs. A $1.8 million Arts Incubator was constructed in 2013 adjacent to the historic station house in an abandoned, historic two-story terra-cotta building.
As CTA does with all projects, it worked with its contractor on the Garfield Green Gateway to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. Thanks to those efforts, CTA exceeded all of its goals for the project, attaining a minority hiring level of 63 percent and hiring 21 percent of its workforce from the surrounding neighborhood.
The total project cost was estimated at $50 million.
The renovated Garfield station included several improvements and features to make the daily customer experience more pleasant. The two biggest elements were accessibility improvements, including replacement of the two existing elevators with new energy-efficient ones and adding a new escalator to the 63rd-bound platform, and replacing the individual platform canopies with a new wider canopy that extended across both platforms and tracks and was longer, covering eight railcars instead of six.
Other improvements in the station included new granite flooring, repainted surfaces and updated ceilings inside the stationhouse, new energy-efficient LED lighting, new platform flooring, new security cameras and new signage.
In coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Garfield Gateway project also included streetscape enhancements next to the station to better integrate existing transportation uses and create a stronger community centerpiece, including improved pedestrian street crossings, eco-friendly paving materials, median landscaping including sustainable native grasses and plants, bike lanes, benches and bike racks at the station. New dedicated bus drop off areas were created, with "bump outs" for ease of bus boarding/exiting, and new bus shelters.
Additionally, the project restored the original section of elevated track structure spanning Garfield Boulevard, which dates back to 1892. The steel structure received new paint and LED lighting to illuminate the structure's design.
In addition to completely rehabbing the main station house and the entrance to the station, the Garfield Gateway Project included visually enhanced architectural features embellished with new work by renowned Chicago artist Nick Cave.
The artist's multi-disciplinary artwork was re-mixed into design patterns via various materials applied to key architectural components of the station such as the station house mosaic ceiling, fused glass platform windbreaks, lenticular columns and the exterior of the station's steel elevator towers.
The project also rehabilitated the original Garfield station house on the south side of Garfield Boulevard that was no longer in use by customers, but still owned by the CTA. The historic station house, which earned City of Chicago landmark status in 2001, was restored to its original turn-of-the century look, removing layers of exterior paint and restoring its decorative masonry facade. The building received improvements to allow it to serve a public purpose, such as a community space.
On June 14, 2017, the CTA announced that the original historic Garfield station house would be transformed into a welcome center, community space and small business incubator in the heart of the Washington Park neighborhood. That day, the Chicago Transit Board approved a contract with Lake Park Associates, Inc., a subsidiary of the University of Chicago, under which the University, working with its affiliates, will invest $219,000 towards renovations of the original Garfield station house.
In its new role, the historic Garfield station will serve many purposes in Washington Park. Providing neighborhood improvement and promotion, the welcome center will be a platform for artists, entrepreneurs and local groups to create public programming, and will devote permanent space to promote events and provide historic information about the neighborhood. The University of Chicago will work with numerous civic and business partners in creating local programming. The center will serve as an incubator for small, local businesses, including providing small business training (office space, financial and accounting skills, marketing assistance, etc.) and access to University and financial networks. Visual markers will be created on or next to the welcome center that celebrate Washington Park history.
Following a competitive procurement process, the University submitted the highest bid and will have a 10-year lease agreement with the CTA with an option to renew the lease for an additional 10 years.
Construction began in late summer 2018.
Impacts to service during the project will included a half dozen temporary rail service suspensions and bus substitutions between 51st and the 63rd St branches during late summer and fall 2018, closure of each platform for approximately two weeks in late summer/early fall, closure of each elevator for approximately three months each during fall and winter, nighttime track closures where trains in both directions operated on the same track through Garfield station during summer and fall, and use of a temporary station entrance for approximately three months during fall and winter.
On August 13, the northbound platform elevator closed for rehabilitation.
On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, the Garfield station house temporarily closed for renovation. With the closure of the station house, the elevators to both platforms were temporarily out of service for upgrading.
A temporary entrance/exit construction of wood framing and sheeting, located approximately 150 feet north of the closed station house, provided temporary fare controls and access to the platforms to keep the station open. Auxiliary stairways constructed in the preceding few months connected the temporary entrance to the platforms.
On Thursday, January 10, 2019, the station house and elevator were returned to service, and the temporary entrance closed. The two new north stairs were closed temporarily until they could be converted and reopened as exit-only stairs.
The American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Chicago chapter awarded the CTA a Design of Excellence Award for the renovation of the Garfield sation. Nine nationally renowned architects acted as jurors, evaluating hundreds of entries before selecting the winning projects.
The project received honors in interior architecture -- AIA's highest distinction of excellent design -- and a special recognition for public art integration in the distinguished building category the project included visually enhanced architectural features integrating site-specific art by Chicago artist Nick Cave.
Nine nationally renowned architects acted as jurors, evaluating hundreds of entries before selecting the winning projects.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks honored nine unique projects with 2020 “Preservation Excellence Awards,” including the historic Garfield station house. The Arts and Crafts-style building was restored to its turn-of-the-century appearance with restored or replaced terra cotta, wood-paneled doors, and ornamental elements.
The awards, established in 1999, are presented annually to individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and public agencies that have worked to preserve Chicago's architectural and cultural heritage. Honored during a first-ever virtual award ceremony due to gathering restrictions resulting from the covid-19 pandemic, the winners were chosen from dozens of projects reviewed by the Landmarks Commission’s Permit Review Committee over the last year.
The Garfield station platforms are seen looking north on September 5, 2013. Although built about five years after, the design of the canopies, railings and windbreaks is typical for the Green Line stations built in the 1994-96 rehabilitation project on the line. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
Old Garfield station photos (1892- )
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This detail view shows the eaves and Craftsman-style brackets of the semicircular conical roof on the front bay on the Garfield station, on January 18, 1998. (Photo by Linda Garfield)
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The platform of the original Garfield station is seen looking south on August 16, 2000. The platforms originally ended at the tops of the stairs, but were later extended around them when longer platform were needed, resulting in narrow portions around the stairs. This 100-plus year old platform would be demolished when the new station was completed in 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The old Garfield platforms, still in service, are seen looking north on August 16, 2000. Note the sign in the foreground with the prohibition slash though an 8 -- this tells motormen that the platform is not long enough to safely berth an 8-car train. The new station is already under construction in the background. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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A view of the original 1892 station house at Garfield, looking south on May 6, 2001. This is how the station house appeared just before its closure and replacement by the new, modern facility across the street. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The historic Garfield platform, looking north on July 13, 2001. The inbound platform canopy on the right is much longer than the one on the outbound platform, probably to provide additional protection in the direction where boarding was heavier. The platforms would be taken out of service in just a few days when the new station opened across the street. When it was demolished, the last pre-CTA platform on the original route of the South Side Elevated was gone. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The old northbound side platform at Garfield is seen looking south on July 13, 2001 from the about-to-be-opened replacement station. The booth at the end of the old platform was a supervisor's booth. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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A view looking north up the old Garfield station platform on July 13, 2001 shows the platform canopy, with its iron posts and corrugated metal roof. The original South Side Elevated station platform canopies had hump-shaped roofs, but many of these were replaced very early with simpler flat, angled roofs like this one. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The short canopy on the outbound platform of the old Garfield station is seen looking northwest on July 13, 2001, a few days before it was closed and replaced with the new station visible in the right background. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The same view as garfield19.jpg above looking south from the new Garfield station platforms, on September 27, 2001 only a few months after the old station closed and the historic platforms had already been removed. They were demolished with no trace of them left. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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A portion of the exterior facade, in the top west corner of the front elevation, has had its paint removed, revealing the ornamental polychromatic brickwork and decorative cornice underneath, seen on September 27, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)